string(7) "m-66998" Burnt Hickory Baptist Church


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Dec 20, 2020



Passage: Matthew 2:1-11

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: The Gift

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: truth, christmas, bible, gifts, biblical, wisemen, jesus born, the gift, maji, christmas gifts

Why Myrrh? What's the significance? Join us as we discover the third gift the Maji brought to Christ at His birth. Not only was myrrh used in biblical times for a perfume, it was also a painkiller. Remember in Mark 15:23 when Christ is hanging on the cross, the roman guards offer myrrh, and He didn’t take it. He wanted to take the punishment meant for us and he died feeling the full measure of our sin. More significant, myrrh was used to prepare dead bodies for burial - it was known as the death spice. Later in John chapter 19, we see Joseph of Arimathea ask Pilate for Christ's body so that it could be wrapped and anointed for burial. It's a beautiful foreshadowing of Christ’s death on the cross as substitute for us, by bestowing Him with the death spice at His birth.

Well, good morning church, you know that 2020, I got to thinking this week that it can really take a whole lot from us. And it has taken a whole lot from us. But it can't take what we just did together from us. And it cannot take the idea that we can worship the King. That we can worship the King, whether it is in person here, or whether we're with our tribe in our home or driving down the road, Emanuel well still gets our worship, still gets our worship. And I think we can celebrate that if you've got a copy of Scripture this morning, I want you to go with me to Matthew chapter 2, surprise. Matthew, chapter 2. And I heard a story this week about a pastor and his wife they were coming home on an afternoon and the pastor's wife came through the house and just fell on to the couch and just sighed with relief and just said, Oh, my goodness, I am exhausted. The pastor looked at his wife with a look that only a husband could give her and goes, why? Why? He said, do you realize that I have preached three times on Sunday, six Christmas Eve services, and you're exhausted? And she looked at it without cracking a smile and said, Yeah, but I had to listen to them all, and that's worse. That's worse. You know, some of you I feel like that's kind of where you're at right now, in Matthew chapter 2, you've been here over the last couple of weeks, we've really had been diving into Matthew's account of this young boy, Jesus on coming to earth. And we've been looking at the events that surrounded, we've been looking at the ideas that it carries, and the ideas of the gifts that these men named Magi have given and our goal in it that we've said from the beginning is just to slow down in the story. To slow down in it a lot of times we come to these familiar passages, and we just breeze through them, we just kind of Bible read our plan through them. And we don't take the moments to just let it soak into our soul. And that's what we've been doing over these last couple of weeks. And we've been taking the time to really focus on this account from Matthew chapter 2 and making the distinction that it is not the same account, as Luke gives us. It is not one big story that is mashed into a story and we throw out into our Christmas cards. It's a separate event. It comes after the Luke event after the birth, and it's in a home in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. And now we're seeing these Wise Men. And we saw some things about these Wise Men over the last couple of weeks. And it's incredible to see that number one, it just took them a while to get there. It took them a while. You didn't just hop in the Camry and head down the road in that moment. They had to gather their supplies, get their stuff together, hire their teams around them, and make the journey to see Jesus. But we also see that there weren't three of them, there was probably a bunch of them. How many? I don't know. I don't know how many there were. But it was enough to get an audience with King Herod, it was enough to head into town and automatically they knew that they were present, it was enough to know that they turned that little town upside down. And now they were coming to meet Jesus. And I love these wise men, because they teach us a lot about ourselves. And they show us a lot about what our worship can look like, what our devotion can look like, and how we as people can begin to move towards giving our lives to Jesus. And we said that these guys, they weren't kings. In fact, they were king makers. They were spiritual advisors. They were these rulers that kings would look to ratify laws and one of their primary laws, or one of their primary roles was that these guys were the Magi. These were the guys that anointed kings. You know, we don't have anybody in our society today that we can kind of compare them to. I've been kind of thinking about how can we kind of compare who these Wise Men were in our society there were more than a president they were more than a religious leader, but then it hit me what would happen is if we could take the Pope and if we could marry him with the leader of the European Union into one person, that would be the level of power, the level of wealth and the level of influence that these guys had for centuries, and centuries. You know, kings didn't make laws without talking to them. Nobody became a king until they validated them, and in fact, they met Jehovah God back all the way to 600 BC when this guy named Daniel stepped into their ranks and became the ruler. It's an amazing story how God wove this into history. And in these pagan astrologers met Jehovah God, the God of the Jews, and they received the scriptures from the Jews that were in Babylon, and they received the prophecies from Daniel and now because of their intellect, they had been reading the prophecies, they had been hearing that the coming of the king was coming and now because they were so smart and wise, they knew that it was time and the star rose. In fact, I want you to go with me to Matthew chapter 2 and I want you to see how they knew that a king was being born. Matthew 2:1 says, "After Jesus was born, in Bethlehem in Judea, during the current time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, where is this one who has been born king of the Jews?" Now I haven't said this yet. I want to save it till today believe that there because if you were reading this, if you were reading it in Greek, you would see that this word King of the Jews, the word King is in all caps, which literally means that we're not talking about a little k King, and some little k kingdom, we are talking about the “all caps King”, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, you would have seen this in the original language. These guys come before Herod and is like, Hey, little k King, where's the big k King, because we've come not to worship you but to worship Him? And it says this, "We saw His star when it rose, and have come to worship Him." So, the star rises, and they begin to follow it because it was spoken of in the Old Testament and God directed them towards Jesus. And they brought these gifts we've been looking at these gifts over the last couple of weeks. We don't have time to really recap a lot of them. But the first one was gold and gold is the gift of a king. It is the metal of a king, and they brought the gift of gold to a king to ratify, or to anoint, or to set apart Jesus as King. And when the Magi said it, listen, people listened. But they not only brought the gold of King to celebrate His sovereignty, and the fact that he was more but they brought, we looked at this last week, the gift of frankincense, they brought this incredibly aromatic, frankincense that was actually the tool of the priests. They brought this tool of the priests to point out the fact that yes, they were anointing Jesus as priest, they were showing that Jesus is going to be the fragrant offering to God, and that Jesus is now our High Priest. We saw this all through the book of Hebrews, we read it this week, just celebrating the fact that Jesus is my go between that's what priest means he's the go between a holy God and a sinful man. That's what Frankincense was. And frankincense it was a little bit of a strange gift, right? Why do you bring a newborn? Why do you bring a newborn some incense? You do it because you know what it means? The third gift today's gift, it's incredibly strange. Today's gift, if you look at frankincense and think it's strange, when you look at today's gift from the outside looking in, it is a completely weird, gift. Let me ask you this. Have you ever just gotten a weird gift? I mean, do you have one of those aunts? You know what I'm talking about, right? If you got a big family, there's always one. There's always one person in the family that nobody else wants to give anybody anything but they're the holdout, right? They're the one that is like, Hey, no, no, no, we're all going to go and we're going to go to flea market, we're going to all pile a bunch of junk that nobody wants into something to give you for Christmas. We all have those people. I've gotten some weird gifts over my life. I've gotten some really strange gifts. And I'm not talking about the gag gift parties. I'm talking about people that really think this is an appropriate gift. And I'm talking to even more so than the socks and underwear you got when you were a kid, remember used to get so mad, why are you going to wrap up some socks and give them to me as a kid? But hey, as I become an adult, it's like, hey, that's a pretty good gift. Right? I mean, that's kind of that's needed in life. I'll take it every time. I did a poll this week, just because we've got a lot of people out there, right? I was like, hey, what is the strangest gift you've ever gotten? And look, I got a lot of them. A lot of them that I can't say from up here. I'm just gonna be really honest with you that it would get me in a lot of trouble. But I wrote down a couple of them that I thought were right and were worth saying number one gift was a previously used apple slicer with apple pieces already on it. That's just gross. Number two, one sock, not a pair of socks, just one. I thought that was neat. Number three, I thought this one was pretty offensive. A five-ounce crystal Body Rock deodorant. Listen, if somebody's giving you a five-ounce rock, you gotta rub on yourself just to make you smell better? You got a problem. Number four. I love this one. Number four weird gift was a toilet seat. A toilet seat? Now listen, if you're given her a toilet seat for Christmas, there's nothing that says love better than that, right? Unless it's one of those new ones that glow in the dark that can take care of a lot of problems at nighttime. Ah, here it is. Number five, a box of 350 fortune cookies. Let me just as a side note, if someone is worried about you to the point, they need to give you 350 fortune cookies, you're in trouble. Here's my favorite one. A stocking full of vacuum cleaner bags, not a vacuum cleaner because that would be like almost cool. But a whole stocking full. Don't go home dude, listen, if this is you right now, don't do it. Because you're not gonna have a home after Christmas. If you give this to your wife. Those are weird, but at a glance this morning’s is probably the weirdest gift that's ever been given to the child. Let's look at Matthew 2:9, After they had heard the king, they went on their way and the star that they had seen when it rose ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they open their treasures and they presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Now listen, myrrh has an incredibly long history on this planet. All historians agree that murder goes back at least to 2000 years prior to Christ being born, a couple of scholars even go farther than that. And they would attribute it all the way back to the sixth millennium BC, but myrrh is like frankincense, it is a resin from a plant that would have hardened on the side of a trunk that would have knocked it off. And after it was turned into powder or pieces for powder later, it was used throughout history for many, many, many different things. If you do a kind of study a word study through the Bible, you'll see that myrrh is mentioned about 18 times in the Bible. Fourteen of them are in the Old Testament, four of them are in the New Testament and the original word for myrrh, and this is important, if you're reading the Bible in the Old Testament, the original language is Hebrew, right? And then the original word for myrrh is the word mor, M O R, now if you're taking notes on a piece of paper, if you got Matthew 2 out, write that somewhere in the margins, because you're gonna need to know this. The word mor is the original word. That is the Hebrew word for myrrh. So if you translate it, it is myrrh. Now in the New Testament, Matthew right here is writing in Greek. He's writing in Greek right here in the New Testament, and the New Testament word is another language. The New Testament word for myrrh is the word Smyrna. Smyrna it ain't the jonquil city right down the road. All right? It's a different deal. But it is a city. All right? It is a city, if you remember, right, in your bible history. There was a city named Smyrna. There was a city named Smyrna, it was just north of Jerusalem. It was a port city, it is Izmir, Turkey, if you want to look it up this afternoon. It's the same city today in this city was named after its chief export. The chief export of the city of Smyrna was what we call myrrh. It's what we call myrrh. So, you're gonna see that there's a long history of myrrh. If you look at the Bible, there's about four different uses of myrrh in the Bible that I want to look at real fast. Number one, biblically speaking, myrrh was a beauty treatment. It was a beauty treatment. I saw some of you are like now you're speaking my language. All right? It was a beauty treatment. In fact, it was the number one kind of spa moment in the whole Bible. If you've ever studied the story of Esther, the story of Esther coming before the king, you would have seen in Esther 2:12 it says, "Before a young woman's turn came to go into King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatment prescribed for women," for some of you you're like, hallelujah send me to that spa, right? "Six months with oil of myrrh and six months with the perfumes and the cosmetics." So evidently, when we read the story, you'll see that myrrh did something to the skin, you could say it was the ancient Botox of the day. I guess you could say in ancient land, they would bathe in it, they would use it as an anointment for their skin and it helped these so called almost queens go into the king with the most youthful exuberant skin ever. All right? It was a beauty treatment but number two, it was also used as an expensive perfume. It was used as an incredibly expensive perfume. If you start looking through the Old Testament, you'll see it first in Psalm 45 you'll see that the king's garments were scented with myrrh and with aloe. If you read in Proverbs 7:17, you'll see the seductress lady that is tempting the young man that is in that chapter, and the seductress lady says that "I've perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon." And yes, it's talking about what you're thinking it's talking about. In Song of Solomon chapter three to go even farther. Song of Solomon chapter three, we see it again. Now, I'm not going to give you what it says about it in chapter four and five, you don't have to read that on your own at another time. But in Song of Solomon 3:6, we see Solomon, looking towards his fiancé, and listen to what he says. He says about his fiancé, "Who is this coming up from the wilderness like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and incense." So, we see that myrrh was this expensive perfume in the ancient history and you know, you didn't bathe quite as much as today, so I'm sure it was greatly useful in covering up the stench of the day. But myrrh number three, it was a painkiller. It was a painkiller throughout history. And actually, even today, there are some places that still use myrrh with its pain killing abilities. It was an acetaminophen if you would take Tylenol or Advil and something about it had the ability to reduce swelling and to kill pain, to kill pain to help with pain. And this is incredible, because we see this as kind of dip into the New Testament a little bit. I don't know why I've never put this together. But Jesus when he was on the cross, you'll remember right? When Jesus was on the cross the Roman authorities at the moment of his excruciating death on this tool made by the Romans to cause the most pain possible. In Mark chapter 15:23, we see that Jesus, check this out, "Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified Him." And why did they offer it because the Romans wanted to deaden the pain just long enough not to put them into shock. So they would die faster. They wanted Him to go through more and more and last longer on the cross. But it's almost as if Jesus was like, No, no, I'll take the pain because I'm becoming sin on their behalf. So we see this in the Old Testament, we see that he became sin for us. And this myrrh, catch this, is the same substance, that these Magi from the east that knew the scriptures, were laying at the feet of Jesus. Now, all of those uses are important. But those are not the uses that our text is pointing to. See, there's a fourth use of myrrh. And by the first century, this fourth use, it was actually the number one use for myrrh, and is the one that our text is pointing to. And myrrh was used to care for dead bodies. Now I know that's a little bit grotesque. I know it is. But I want you to see this, because this is what makes it so odd that these Wise Men would bring this substance that was used to treat dead bodies to this young child, are you catching kind of the awkwardness of the moment of what's going on. You could say that, uh, that the murderer was a preservative of the dead, I guess she would, according to this guy named Herodotus. And I've mentioned him just about every week, by the way, on purpose, because I wanted a theme of history through this whole kind of miniseries that we're doing. Herodetus, if you don't know who Herodetus is, or if you're just not a history nerd, you probably don't. Herodetus is the father of modern-day history. He's the one that kind of laid the groundwork of how we even today treat history by primary and secondary sources and Herodetus in 450 BC, was a Greek historian that wrote the history of kind of that side of the world or modern world as he would have called it. And Herodetus said, and I quote, "Myrrh was primarily used for the preparation of the dead." Preparation of the dead. Now, the Egyptians, if you watch the History Channel, you'll remember almost every time they open up some new tomb, and they run whatever those chemical tests are, they find hints of myrrh, because the Egyptians used it as an embalming fluid. But the Jews used it a little bit differently. And this is the people that we're dealing with. The Jews after someone would have died, they would have wrapped the body in strips of cloth and then they would have taken myrrh and they would have anointed, they would have kind of encased the dead body of the person. This is where we see it in the Gospels again. If you remember right after the Crucifixion, right? Jesus goes to the tomb and what happens in John chapter 19. "Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds of it. Taking Jesus's body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices in strips of linen. This was in accordance with the Jewish burial customs." Now why would you wrap a dead body in strips of fabric wrapped in myrrh? I mean, it's pretty obvious it's to help with the decaying process they didn't have what we have today. And it was to honor the dead, it was to say that they were worth this idea that we were taking something worthy to them. So literally, I know this is hard for us to understand. But if you are a Jew, in first century Palestine, and someone said the word myrrh to you, everyone knew primarily it was a death spice. Now, let that sink in just for a minute. Let that sink into the story, because I know what you're thinking. You're like, Matt, thanks for the history lesson. Thanks for the history of myrrh. I'll never be the same, right? I know what you're thinking. But here's what I want you to do. I want us to kind of encase that with why the Magi brought it to Jesus, because there's an incredible scarlet thread that goes from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible that deals with myrrh. There's an incredible grand narrative of God that we're seeing in his sovereignty right here happens when this boy Jesus has been born and now, he's been given the gift of the death spice. Let me give you a couple of walkways that will clear it up. Number one is this. The substance of myrrh that it's associated with Jesus's birth is also associated with Jesus's death. We've briefly seen this right? It was given to him at his birth, it was offered to him at his crucifixion, and then it was used at his burial. But it would be even more meaningful if you knew the Jewish customs. If you were a Jewish rabbi, if you were a Jewish priest, and if you knew the Old Testament, how they knew the Old Testament, you would see that myrrh is incredibly symbolic. You say, Matt, what are you talking about? I love it when you ask questions of where we're gonna go next, because it really does help me. Check this out. Genesis chapter 22. You don't have to go there. Genesis chapter 22, is Abraham He's the founder of the Jews, right? He's the father of the Jews. You're gonna like this, if you love the Bible. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac, remember this? He was asked to take him to the place of sacrifice, take him to the mountain of sacrifice. Now, what was the mountains name that Abraham was asked to take Isaac to? It was Mount Moriah. Mount Moriah. Now, if you're paying attention earlier, maybe you wrote this little word over in your column over there. The Hebrew word for myrrh is the word mor, catch this mount mor Moriah, what does that mean? Catch this, the father Abraham was asked to take the son Isaac to the mountain of myrrh. To the mountain of myrrh. Is this beginning to make a little bit of sense in bible history for you? Where did this happen? This happened on the Mountain of myrrh, Mount Mariah. Now, where is Mount Mariah? For those of you that bible history is not your jam. Let me tell you where it is. Mount Mariah became the first place of Solomon's temple, Solomon's Temple. What happened at Solomon's Temple? It was the place that day after day, year after year millennial after millennial there was a sacrifice made of a lamb to cover the sins of all the people, right? To cover the people on Mount Mariah. Now what did Mount Mariah become in the New Testament? It is Jerusalem. Mount Mariah is Jerusalem. It is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Now what happened in Jerusalem, it is where the temple was built. It is where the sacrifices were being made, it's where for millennial, people made a journey to come to the day of atonement because the sacrifice was being made, the lamb was being slain, the priests, the high priest was making the sacrifice at Mount Mariah, which is now Jerusalem, which is now the temple. What happened when this guy named Jesus came along? This guy named Jesus came along and became sin on our behalf and was crucified literally just blocks from Mount Mariah. Now what happened when Jesus was crucified? What happened at Mount Mariah when Jesus was crucified was the temple curtain that separated the Holy of Holies, God with a sinful man was torn from the top to the bottom and literally now because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have access to the King. Why? Because all the way back in Mount Mariah God gave us this thread that runs all the way to Jesus, all the way to Jesus. Now, this doesn't excite you. But this excites me, because I'm totally into this Bible thing. And this is incredible, because listen, if you were an ancient Hebrew rabbi, when you heard of myrrh, the gift of these Magi, your mind would have automatically connected the Father God, sacrificing a son. The father, Abraham, sacrificing his son, and now we have Father God, sacrificing Jesus on our behalf. Ring a bell? John 3:16, right? "For God, so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world, to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." Let me say it again, the Father God, sacrificed the Son Jesus, on our behalf. And listen, that's good news. That's good news for you. And that's good news for me. That's good news for all of us. Now, look, when we look at this event, we get to see it in the rearview mirror. Things are always clearer in the rearview mirror. But I want you to think about this. What if you were Mary and Joseph? What if you were Mary and Joseph? Remember, they were good Jews. They knew the first five books of the Bible. They knew what myrrh stood for. What if you were Mary and Joseph? Go with me in my sanctified imagination just for a minute. Its quiet, dinner's done, right? We're down. Everybody's good. Maybe a little Jesus playing with some blocks on the floor and somebody knocks on the door and you're like, who is at our house, who's at our house, they walk up to the door, they open the door, and there's a 100 people standing on the front lawn and a couple of guys in some crazy suits on your front porch. I don't know if there's a front porch in my mind. It just makes sense that there's this front porch and all of a sudden Jesus walks out he's like, Mom, what's going on? I don't know if he called her mom, but it works out for Mary. It's kind of short for that. He walks onto the front and these guys; these Magi fall on their faces and begin to worship Jesus. And you know, they're like, what is going on right here and they're like, wait a minute, these are Magi. These are powerful people; they don't bow to anybody. You notice they never bow to Herod. They never bowed even though, listen to this they never bowed to King Nero. Nero was shaking. Roman history tells us that when the Magi met King Nero later on that he literally shook. They're bowing to King Jesus and what do they do? They give him some gold and Mary's like, oh my, oh, my, some gold, we'll take the gold. Give us the gold. That's an incredible gift. We'll take gold never turned down gold. It's just a principle in life that I have as well. Don't turn it down. Secondly, they break out the frankincense and they're like Well, that's a little bit weird, but we'll go with it. We'll go with the Frankincense. We can kind of see maybe where this is going. He's a holy kid. Maybe he'll grow up to be a priest one day, maybe He's that kind of kid. He's okay, I got this. But then when the box of myrrh hit the floor in front of him, you know, this is when it got real for Mary. She's like, Oh, no, you didn't? No, no, that's my baby. Why? Because none of us look at our babies and think death. All we think about our babies is we think life and what's ahead of them and what's going to happen in them. And you know, this got to them a little bit. You know, it had to I'm just kind of reading the text, but it's just normal, right? Not only did this get to them, but you know, this brought them back to the announcements that happened earlier. What announcements? What about when Mary had the angel appear to her? In Luke chapter 1:31 when the angel said, "You will conceive and give birth to a son and you will call him Jesus. He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of his father David." That's why He got the gold right there. You're like, okay, Mary's like I'm on it. Yep, that's incredible. What about when the shepherds came and visited him later on? The shepherds came in Luke chapter 2, "and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherd said to them." What did they say? The shepherds basically told her today in the town of Bethlehem, a Savior has been born to you and he is Messiah, and he is Lord. And remember in verse 19, it says that "Mary treasured up all these things in her heart, she's you know that she's remembering this moment going, Oh, no, no, this is gonna be the Lord. This is gonna be a kingdom maker. This is gonna be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You know, they thought back to when Simeon blessed this child in the temple, remember that old priest Simeon that was so faithful to God and Luke 2:29 it says, "Sovereign Lord, you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace for my eyes have seen your salvation." You know that when Mary's thinking about this moment, he's gonna know this guy's the king, and this guy is Lord, and this guy's gonna be salvation for everybody. But how amazing is it at this moment, it got really real for Mary, and Joseph and the Magi and everybody else that this boy, Jesus was going to be the sacrifice for our sins. How about go into the place that myrrh meant the most, death, death? Listen, we're connecting the dots here. This is not just some story that just popped up. And obviously, you know this, you're not just saved by the birth of Jesus, you're not saved just by the life of Jesus, you are saved because of the sacrificial death and resurrection of our king, Savior and Lord, King Jesus. And that's why we're seeing that the myrrh connected his birth with his death. But number two walk away I want to show you real quick, is that Jesus is the only baby that has ever been born with the express purpose, to die. To die, let that one sink in just for a minute. This is so anti christmas. I mean, I got my Christmas shirt on, for goodness sakes. But this is so anti christmas right here, right? But I just want you to feel it. That when you see the manger and the angels and the shepherds and Mary and Joseph and later on the Magi later on the gifts and this boy, Jesus, I want you to see this principle. I want this principle to sear into your soul. Let us never see the crib without the cross. Let us never see the crib without the cross. Why? Because so many of us are good at celebrating the Christmas Jesus. The sweet baby Jesus, right? But we're not really good at celebrating the crucified Jesus and the resurrected Jesus. The cross is the goal of the manger. The purpose of the crib is the cross, this is important. Why? Because when Jesus died on the cross, this was not Plan B. It wasn't like God was in heaven going, Oh, man, what are we gonna do now? What are we going to do with the earth now? No, from the beginning of time God had planned to sacrifice his son, Jesus for you and for me, this is why Revelation 13:8 says literally that the lamb, Jesus was the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. This was not a plan that God just kind of had to scratch the other plan one day, because we sin from the beginning of mankind, God knew this was going to happen. Why? Because the shadow of the cross went all the way back to the birth of Jesus, all the way back. And it went all the way back to Mount Moriah. I thought of a painting this week, and I had to look it up because I wasn't that great in art appreciation. I thought of a painting this week, and it was in the 1870's by this guy named Holman Hunt. I'm not that smart. I had to look it up. And I want you to see this painting because it just so encompasses this point that I'm making right here is Jesus. He's working in his father's wood shop. He's tired. And He's just put His saw down. I had to look that up to it didn't know that. But those smart people do. And He had to put us all down and He's stretching His arms. Why? Because there was no like Ryobi's back then you had to like do it with like all manpower back then. He put his saw down and He's stretching His arms out and look down in the corner. You've got his mom Mary down in the corner. She's opened the box up. She's opened this box up and what is in the box, the Gift of the Magi. You've got gold and you've got frankincense and the author wrote this. I didn't come up with this. You've got all the gifts of the Magi that helped them live throughout history. But here's what I want you to notice the most about this. I love the gift of the Magi. I love the fact that Mary's there. I love the fact that that Jesus is in the forefront. But right here the sun is shining straight through Jesus and look at the back wall. The sun is casting a shadow on Jesus's life, which is in the shape of the cross. It's the shadow of the cross. This is the point of the myrrh. The point of the myrrh is saying this to you and to me. The Magi are bringing this myrrh and they're saying this baby's life is pointed to the cross. It's pointed to the cross of Jesus and I don't know how much of the story that Mary and Joseph know, I don't know that. But what I do know is that the moment that the myrrh hit the ground, things got really real for them and it demanded a response from them, it demanded a response. You say Matt, what are you talking about demand a response? We see response in Scripture and here's how I want to land this whole deal. My question is this. Have you ever met Jesus in a way that it demanded a response? Or has it just been this head knowledge that you've been operating in your whole life? This moment is incredibly significant right here. And we see that Jesus is our King, and Jesus is our go between, and Jesus is our sacrifice, and it demanded a response. Look at verse 10. It tells us the response. I love how the Magi responded, because that's how I should respond and how you should respond. Matthew chapter 2:10 it says, "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed." They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. It says two things happened. It just says that there were more than just a smirk, or more than just a hmm, that's nice. It was more like they were fundamentally changed when they first knew exactly who Jesus was. And here's the thing, when Jesus makes sense for you, and makes sense for me, nobody has to beg us to do these two things. Here they are when you meet Jesus, two things happen. Number one, you rejoice. you rejoice, right? Joy to the world. They wrote a song about it. The Lord has come. This is the Christmas message we rejoice. But number two, we worship. We worship. And I'm not talking about a hmm, okay, worship. I'm talking about we prostate. That's literally what the word right here in verse 11, it says, on coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They bowed down and worshiped. I'm not going to bore you with the word there. But the word worship literally has the connotation that they got on their bellies, face on to the ground out of a reverent, respect for who they were in front of. Now, remember these guys? We talked about them this whole series. They were kingmakers and they bowed to no one. They were rich. They had everything. What happened? What happened right here, their status meant nothing to them in this moment, because they met the true king. They met the true high priests, and they met the sacrifice for their sins. So, in all their garb, you've seen it, you've been to a Christmas pageant, they and all their garb, they got down on the ground in front of all their servants, I might add. They didn't care who was around them. They didn't care what culture was telling them to do. And they worshipped, they worshipped. Yes, they gave their stuff, all right? They gave their stuff, and it was nice stuff. It was meaningful stuff. It meant something. But what mattered most, first of all, they gave their worship. They gave their worship. Many scholars say that the fourth gift, the Magi gave was the gift of their worship, the most important gift. Let me ask you this morning. Do you know this Jesus? Do you know this Jesus? That from the beginning of time has been set apart to be the sacrifice for your sins, not only to be the sacrifice, but to stand in the gap for your life, but not only to stand in the gap for your life to be your King? The Magi did. It changed them. Do you need to meet Jesus today? Have you ever come to a point in your life where you have just submitted your life and said Lord Jesus, I, I'm a sinner? And I know that I can't do this on my own. But I need you. And I need you to forgive me of my sin and I need you to come into my life. And I need you to be my Lord. Has there ever been a point in your life where you've done that? Because if not, can I just tell you that it can be right now. If you recognize Him as King, and you see Him as your go between High Priest and your Savior, you can ask Him to be your Lord. And He'll come into your life. This whole time we've been talking about in this message series, this thread that goes all the way through the Bible. The thread is Jesus, and He wants to be in your life. Do you need to give your life to Jesus right now? You can just do it by saying Lord, I'm yours. Come into my life. Listen, if that's you every week we talk about our next steps text. It's the invitation of the pandemic, if you'll just text that and say, Hey, I need Jesus, somebody right now today or tomorrow at latest, we'll reach out to you and say, Hey, let's talk about this. What this can mean for you. Some of you just gave your life to Jesus right now, and we want to know about it. We want to celebrate it with you. Some of you need to take your next step in baptism and join this church. You can do all that on that text. But here's what I want to say. Some of you, you know Jesus. But here's my question to you. Are you rejoicing? And are you worshiping? Or have you let this whole deal this year just get to you and drag you down? This morning, we're going to close a little differently. And this whole series and tying all this together towards Christ's we've been, we've been looking at these gifts. And there's one thing that I didn't mention about myrrh. It's incredibly significant that myrrh was the; it was the resin that it smelt its best, at the moment, it was crushed. Ring a bell? Isaiah 53, "He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds, we are healed." You know, these gifts that the Magi gave were meaningful. They meant something they set a tone for who Jesus was and what he did this morning, we're going to celebrate the Lord's Supper together. Because the New Testament land this is one of the most meaningful things that we can do to celebrate who Jesus is and what Jesus has done. If you're a believer in the room, if you've given your life to Jesus, if you're at home, even, we want to celebrate this moment with you. You say Matt, what is the Lord's Supper? The Lord's Supper is not the literal body and blood of Jesus, it is a significant moment for us to have a symbol of the body and the broken body and the blood of Christ that was shed for us as our sacrifice as he went to the place of myrrh, right? But He didn't stay there because he rose. And today we're going to celebrate this. In fact, Matthew 26 is Jesus talking. He says, "While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, and when He had given thanks, he broke it. He gave it to his disciples saying take this and eat, this is my body. Then He took the cup and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them saying drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of my covenant which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." And then He says," I tell you; I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until the day comes when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom." What is the Lord's Supper? The Lord's Supper is a time where believers, listen, if you're not a believer, this is not for you. I don't want to be brash, but I just want to say this is for the family. This is for the family. If you're a believer in Jesus, not denominational but if you've given your life to Jesus, today, we're going to celebrate what Jesus has done for us. In just a moment these guys are going to come they're going to play over us, they're going to worship with us and when you and your heart are ready to take the body and then to take the juice today, as a signifying moment, that Christ, you are mine, and you've done this for me. I want you to do this on your own in your moment. The Bible tells us to examine ourselves, tells us just to see where this fits in our hearts. So, during these next moments of just prayer, and worship together, I'm going to ask you on your own terms, to rip the top off, take the body, rip the bottom off, take the juice, and let's celebrate the fact that Jesus is our King. He is our Priest, and He is our sacrifice. There is no better gift of Christmas than this. Lord Jesus today, as we walk into this moment, Lord Jesus, of celebrating you. God, I pray that as we take these elements God the symbols of your broken body and blood would be seared into our soul today. And that when we see the cross, or the crib we see the cross. Lord Jesus as we take these and then as we stand afterwards and worship you as our King, God let us rejoice and worship what you have done for us. It's in your name we pray. Amen.

Follow Along with the Message

The Greatest Gift #3 - Myrrh

Matthew 2:1-2; Matthew 2:9-11

4 Biblically Historical Uses of Myrrh:

  1. Beauty  . Esther 2:12

  2. Expensive  . Psalm 45; Proverbs 7; Song of Solomon 3

  3. Pain  . Mark 15:2324a

  4. Care for   Bodies. John 19:3840

Jesus Walkways from Myrrh:

  1. The substance of myrrh that is associated with Jesusbirth is also associated with His

      death. John 3:1617; Luke 1:3133; Luke 2:1820; Luke 2:2935

  2. Jesus is the only baby ever to be born with the purpose to  .

Principle: Let us never see the   without the Cross. Revelation 13:8; Matthew 2:10

When we   Meet Jesus:

1. We  .
2. We  .
Matthew 2:11; Isaiah 53

Matthew 2:1-2 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.

Matthew 2:9-11 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were over- joyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Esther 2:12 Before a young womans turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. Ps. 45, Prov. 7, Song of Solomon 3

Mark 15:2324a 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him...
John 19:3840 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus ... he came and took the body away. 39 ...Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesusbody, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.

John 3:1617 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Luke 1:3133 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacobs descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.Luke 2:1820 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:2935 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,... 33 The childs father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

Revelation 13:8 ...the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. Matthew 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (ESV)
Matthew 2:11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Isaiah 53 "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities . . . and by his stripes we are healed.