Yesterday morning I read about Jesus’ birth and celebrated it all day. I read about how the shepherds worshipped Him; the angels sang to welcome Him into the world. The wise men would come three years later to honor Him with gifts- one of them being myrrh.
Now here in Mark chapter 15, I read about His death. The cruel hatred the people of Jerusalem showed Him. How they rejected Him, tortured Him and as He was hanging on the cross, He was offered wine, drugged with myrrh (v 23). Given it to honor Him at His birth and take away the pain of His death.
What’s even more interesting to me is that He denied the offered pain relief. He experienced the fullness of the crucifiction, all for us. “Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction” (gotquestions.org). It stands as a strange gift to offer a toddler, but it symbolized why He came. The bitterness and suffering He would experience on the cross, vastly different the awe and honor He received from lowly shepherds and wisemen from the East.
It’s almost caused me whiplash to go from one extreme to another. But it’s actually very appropriate reading for the day after celebrating His birth.
Because He was born so He could die for us. He was born so everything in Mark 15 could happen, so our punishment would pass to Him, and He would save us. Save us so we might be with Him for eternity. He suffered so we wouldn’t have to, it’s literally the gift that keeps on giving.
So we can keep talking about this gift all the time like we do our Christmas presents after we get them. It’s our gift to Him, honoring Him by glorifying Him and proclaiming ‘good news and great joy’ to the whole world.