THE COST OF CHRISTMAS
‘The Magi threw themselves down before him, worshiping. Then they opened their presents and gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh’. .
Most sermons I have heard regarding the 3 gifts of the Magi have been about their representation of whom Christ is and His mission on earth. For example
- GOLD represents Christ’s deity, He is God incarnate, but man. It also signifies Sovereignty, divinity and Christ as King! Christ Jesus came to earth to re-establish the Kingdom of God on earth, which satan had usurped.
- FRANKINCENSE this was a rare and costly spice used in making incense. It was also a perfume very much like costly spikenard, which Mary used to anoint Jesus. Incense always represents prayer and especially the intercessions of the high priests of Israel! Jesus came to earth as our great High Priest, who ever makes intercession for His people.
- MYRRH is an expensive spice, used for making perfume, incense, medicine, and for anointing the dead. The Bible records myrrh showing up three times in the life and death of Jesus christ. Matthew states that the three Kings visited the child Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Mark notes that when Jesus was dying on a cross someone offered him wine mixed with myrrh to stop the pain, but he did not take it. Finally, John says Nicodemus brought a mixture of 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes to anoint Jesus’ body when it was laid in the tomb. This represents Christ as suffering Saviour and prophet as prophets often died for preaching their messages.
So, we see here Christ’s roles of Prophet, Priest and King, and the ministrations of those offices. But on a more practical level, these gifts were Jehovah Jireh’s provision for the journey and stay in Egypt of His son and His parents. Just as Jesus was about to be born, God sent a message and a light 900 miles away to Magi in Chaldea, their mission was many fold but one special mission was to get provision to the family of Jesus to get them out of Bethlehem to the safety of Egypt. God who is omniscient knew what Herod would do, but Mary and Joseph were poor and would not be able to provide for their own and Jesus’ exile! To get out of Bethlehem so speedily would have cost much, so too the hire of Camel, provisions, and protection from bandits and robbers on the journey! Then there’s the long stay in Egypt! The difference of the cost of living in Egypt rather than Bethlehem would be like the difference between living in Blackheath in Sandwell [where I live] and Windsor in Berkshire! So how would Mary and Joseph be able to pay for all this extra expense? Enter three Magi, God’s provision for this exile. The gold is obviously the currency they would need to pay their way! Some of the frankincense could be sold if necessary and some used for hygiene purposes on the long dirty journey. As for the myrrh, again some could be sold for extra cash and some for cleansing and medicinal purposes.
God is so on the ball and He is so practical! So why are you so worried child of God? You are God’s child, His very special possession; born of His heart and will, born again through Jesus Christ and adopted in to God’s family through the Holy Spirit of adoption. Do you go into 2014 fearful and worried as to how you will meet all the demands you face? Then please, commit everything to Him and see what He can do!
PRAYER Jehovah Jireh, you are such an awesome God. Who can think as you do? Who on earth could perceive things as you do? Who is so wise as you? Thank you for the amazing provision you made for Jesus your precious child and thank you Jehovah Jireh for providing all that I needed in 2013 and all I will need in 2014 thank you Jesus, amen.
The Birth of Christ
Well they travelled over hills and mountains On a cold December night just like this For they knew what was going to happen Mary would give birth to the prince of peace Our Lord
From the manger what they saw in the distance Was a misty silhouette of three kings Bringing all the most precious jewels to our saviour Knowing he would soon be called the king of kings Our Lord
[Chorus:] On Christmas day They saw a star in the east and followed it On Christmas day That marked the birth place of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
All free from sin Here to give us a chance at everlasting life again So the world So cold you better let him in To your heart
From the sight of the blessed child was full of beauty As they looked upon the one who would save our world To their knees they dropped and started to worship Giving thanks to God above for the prince of peace Our Lord
No one knew back then that on that evening That the miracle of miracles came true That a God above would come down from heaven In the form of a child That would set us free Our Lord [boyz 11 men]