Around two thousand years ago, a group of astrologers (aka Magi) journeyed to a humble home in the town known as the house of bread (Bethlehem). There the Magi, perhaps three (we don’t really know), presented the young Hebrew boy who would, as a man, refer to himself as the Bread of Life, with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The precious metal was surely a fitting gift for the One later known to humankind as the King of kings.
Upon their arrival to the house of Christ, the Magi bowed before the King of kings and worshiped Him. By giving frankincense, which in due time they presented, they acknowledged Jesus as Deity. While others, save Joseph and Mary, viewed the Hebrew boy as just that, the visitors, through the power of the Holy Spirit, saw Him as one worthy of worship.
Perhaps that first of stinging jabs came as the third gift was presented. Myrrh was a resin commonly used to prepare a body for burial. As we just celebrated the birth of Jesus, it was with the understanding that our King was born to die. Take a moment to reflect on these words from Bebo Norman . . .
The Twelve Days of Christmas which began on December 26th and culminate on January 6th end with the celebration of Epiphany, a word meaning “to reveal.” In the giving of those three gifts, the Magi revealed (perhaps not even clear to themselves) the role, identity, and destiny of the young Child.
Norman, Bebo and Jason Ingram. “Born to Die.” BEC: Christmas (From the Realms of Glory). 2007.