Of the three gifts given to Jesus by the Magi, myrrh was the most mysterious. Like frankincense, it was a spice mixture made from tree sap, but while it could be burned, it was used most commonly as a perfume and anointing oil, notably in the mixture of spices combined to prepare bodies for burial. Also, like the other two gifts, it had ties to the Jewish temple since it was the main ingredient in the oil used to ceremonially prepare priests, instruments, and the altar before sacrifices were made. Though it certainly denoted a sanctifying work, it also imbibed a sense of death, and I wonder if Mary and Joseph were bewildered at the wise men’s choice in giving this gift to young Jesus. Little did they know in the midst of those joyful moments that he would die a painful, unjust, and violent death; yet neither could they comprehend how complete a redemption he would accomplish by it.
Friend, the truth is that death is part of life. Only by giving Himself as a sinless sacrifice did Jesus bring forth new life for all of humanity. Likewise, only by choosing to die to parts of ourselves today do we fully experience and realize that life. When we forfeit selfishness and the “right” to do it our way, we inherit an overflowing abundance that far surpasses anything we think we gain by staying in control. Your Savior held nothing back when He went to the cross, so I encourage you to surrender yourself to Him and get ready to experience the overflowing and extraordinary life that comes with total abandon!