Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Third Gift

He took our suffering on him and felt our pain for us.  Isaiah 53:4 (NCV)

My mother died when I was 28 and I shed no tears at her funeral. I'm not really sure why, but I was so detached from the loss that not until 10 years later did I finally grieve for her. Maybe it was because from the time I was five or six years old, I was repeatedly told that she was about to die -- from brain surgery, from bleeding ulcer, from deadly allergic reactions to food -- but she never did. So when she was gone I didn't emotionally accept it. Then the day came when I finally visited her grave and the tears flowed freely, my sorrow as healing as it was painful. Sometimes grief is a gift.

When the Wise Men visited the infant King to honor Him, the third gift they offered was myrrh, a rare and costly spice known for it's healing and aromatic qualities. It was also used to prepare the dead for burial. Though they knew the worth of their gift, I'm sure the Wise Men didn't realize its full significance. Three times throughout His life Jesus was offered myrrh -- at His birth, at His crucifixion, and when He was taken for burial. Myrrh was a symbol of the healing brought from His wounds, the relief realized from His suffering, a reminder of the price He paid for our healing and relief.

How can we be so disconnected when we think of our Lord? What He  sacrificed, what He faced, what He endured even from His birth is beyond our comprehension for sure. But if we stop to contemplate His worth, His exorbitant love and expansive grace, then the aroma of His life will began to permeate our souls and heal us. We will have heartfelt sorrow for His suffering brought on by our sins. That's a gift He offers to us.

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