Ralph's Daily Devotional - Tuesday, March 6

Myrrh is mentioned as one of the gifts given to the child Jesus by the Magi (Matthew 2:11).  It is derived from a small thorny tree found in Israel, similar in feel and appearance to the sappy resin produced from our evergreens.  It is expensive and highly sought after for its pungent aroma.  In fact, it's used in some of the world's most valuable perfumes.  It also has proven medicinal benefits, making it very popular in Chinese medicine for the treatment of a number of ailments.  Myrrh is further used in Eastern Orthodox churches for the purposes of incense and anointing. 

Our Lord was offered myrrh mixed with wine in Mark 15:23 and Matthew 27:34 to relieve pain, but its pain-relieving abilities certainly could not diminish the excruciating pain of crucifixion.  In John 19:39 we read that Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea took with them a 100 pound mixture of myrrh and aloes to help wrap the body of Jesus for burial.

I find it very interesting to observe that the first gift given to the baby Jesus at His birth was myrrh, and that last gift given to Him at His death was also myrrh.  Myrhh was expensive.  For Nicodemus to have purchased and given 100 pounds of it for the burial of Jesus leaves me with no doubt that he was not only very wealthy, but also that his encounter with Jesus in John 3:1-15 forever changed his life.

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