Summary: The high priest was anointed with 5 principal spices, each of these teach us something about the suffering's and merits won by Jesus.
What the 5 Anointing Spices Teach us of Jesus
Exodus 30:23-25 "Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred [shekels], and of sweet cinnamon half so much, [even] two hundred and fifty [shekels], and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty [shekels], And of cassia five hundred [shekels], after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil."
Let's look at the 5 spices of the anointing oil and see what they might suggest to us about the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was the thick gummy sap from the stem of a rugged thorny tree in Arabia. A gash is made in the side of the tree the resin flows out slowly and after about two weeks it has hardened and is collected.
There was also a myrrh that was inferior. It was made by cutting down the tree and splitting it open to "Get it quick". This sap was impure and not of a good quality.
The myrrh that was of high quality was called the "Myrrh of Freedom" because it was that which flowed freely of itself, or when cut that which flowed from the wounds.
The resin that flows and hardens is referred to as "tears," because it forms into tear like shapes.
Myrrh has a very bitter taste.
How this relates to Jesus: The Myrrh of Freedom comes from the cutting into the side of a rugged thorny tree, does that suggest anything to you? Jesus was cut in His side, had thorns placed on His head, and His death was a very bitter thing. The tears suggest to us His cry from the cross, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsake Me?"
But His "cutting," has allowed the Myrrh of Freedom to flow to all who would be saved. There is a grace that flows from Calvary, Jesus was cut and there is a wonderful salve that flows from it. Salvation is also pictured in the fact that the myrrh remained on the tree after it was cut, and it had to be collected. Salvation is provided at Calvary, but it must be personally gathered up to be efficacious.
B. Sweet Cinnamon.
So called to distinguish it from another Cinnamon that though it looked the same on the outside, it did not have the same smell, or taste.
Sweet cinnamon has no pleasant odor while it is green, but its sweet aroma comes after it has been cut down, dies and dries out. Further it is the inner rhine of the plant that must be so treated.
How this relates to Jesus: Life flows from death. Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. Myrrh speaks to us more of the suffering of the Lord, Sweet cinnamon reminds us of the special blessings it brings.
There are also some practical lessons we can learn from cinnamon. Beware of cinnamon look-a likes for one. Also understand that there are hurts that while they are still green in us, we may not know or appreciate the sweet cinnamon they will afterwards produce.
C. Calamus. (Fragrant Cane)
Calamus is a fragrant cane whose root is the prized spice.
How this relates to Jesus: The roots speak of the underground, unseen, secret and private life. They speak of that which provides nourishment to the plant or tree. Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing. He said He is the vine, the root, the source, and we are to simply be the branches. This reminds us that salvation is of the Lord. It is His doing, and His alone, all that we can do is receive the nourishment that He alone can provide. This spice also speaks of Christ's intercession for us. He told Peter satan desired to sift him as wheat, but that Jesus had prayed for him. Peter probably had no prior notice or thought of this fact. Jesus was secretly doing things on Peter and our behalf. He ever liveth to make intercession for us, the great counter balance to the word of the devil who accuses us day and night before God.
Practical lesson we can learn. What we practice in private will ultimately manifest itself in the public place. If you want to have a beautiful flowering plant, you have to nourish your roots. Roots of prayer, piety, and praise.
It is the bark from a tree that was stripped and boiled for its spice, it was a very aromatic spice.