Summary: The third of three sermons looking at how God used the gifts of the wise men to tell about Jesus and His life.
-Jesus said no! Why? Because He had to stay focused on His task. He had to stay true to who He was.
-this was His last temptation. Myrrh. The offering of allowing some pain to go away in the midst of the most brutal torture on earth. And He still didn’t falter.
-I know, this is really shaping up to be a Merry Christmas message, but work with me here.
-myrrh was a vital part of death and burial thousands of years ago. Everybody, from the Jews to the Egyptians, used myrrh in embalming and preserving the body.
**John 19:38-40 -> 38Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. (NLT)
-the end of Jesus life was His body being encased in myrrh.
-I don’t think it’s coincidence that Jesus’ life ended with a gift at the beginning. Nor do I think it’s coincidence that myrrh was one of the main ingredients in the anointing oil made by the priests to anoint the holy pieces in the Holy of Holies like the Ark of the Covenant (we talked about that two weeks ago). It’s in Ex. 30. They used this oil to make things holy.
-I also don’t think it was coincidence that in some early writings about burial, it instructs that when you make this special embalming spice and aloe mixture, you were not supposed to use frankincense.
-but see myrrh was used for one other reason. Yes, it cleans, but also:
3. MYRRH REPRESENTS ETERNITY
-myrrh is special for its ability to last for a long time.
-ever had a car fragrance thing and it die in a few weeks? When placed in an alabaster pot, myrrh can hold its fragrance for several hundred years.
-we have found myrrh in Egyptian tombs that is over 4000 years old! 4000!
-this is part of the reason that myrrh is still used today in making perfumes. It has an extraordinary lasting power.
-Jesus is eternal. He didn’t step out of heaven to live on earth a few years, then abandon earth. He’s still the King of this world!
**Rev. 11:15 -> 15Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices shouting in heaven: “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.” (NLT)
-now we’re getting into the Christmas story!
-Jesus didn’t just come to save a few people, to help a few that were around Him. He came to save us all for all eternity.
-we get to spend eternity with Jesus Christ as both our King and our best Friend.
-but, that reminds me of one more story with myrrh in the Bible, a famous story with a small step overlooked.
-how many know the story of Queen Esther?
-basic sum up:
Israel conquered by Persia.
King Xerxes has a problem with his wife, Queen Vashti and she is kicked off the throne.