Three Kings Day: January 6
“Isn’t it overwhelming that even Jesus’ jubilant birth with the magi offering him awesome gifts prophetically points to his somber death on the cross which is Jesus’ gift to us?”– Haven Caylor
The “yonder star” guides us to Jesus, the “perfect light”
Not being raised Roman Catholic, you can imagine my riveted 13 year old attention to the story of Spain’s Three Kings Day December 1979. 1979-1980 was my first school year to study the Spanish language, and with the language Hispanic culture.
This Varnell, Georgia, country boy, Protestant-Christian had never heard of Three Kings Day. Yes, the Roman Catholics had Santa Claus, but they also had the Three Kings who left presents for children on January 6 . The holiday with its best title as Epiphany has been around the Christian world for over 1,600 years. Many modern scholars say that the magi arrived in Bethlehem and gave Jesus his gifts on January 6.
The Magi (Ancient Astronomers probably from Babylon) followed the Star of Bethlehem to the place where Jesus was. The Jewish nation had been exiled into Babylon (returned to the Holy Land 70 years later) in approximately 600 B. C., and scholarly, Babylonian men had documented and studied the Jewish prophecies concerning the coming Messiah. These Magi were the 1st Gentile believers in Jesus Christ.
Of course we have no idea how many magi came to adore and worship the baby Jesus, but with the Bible mentioning gold, frankincense and myrrh, people say 3 Kings.
Here is a short explanation of the meaning of the three gifts from http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html#ixzz2pcptzSE9:
Gold is a precious metal and as such was a very valuable commodity. Its value could very well have financed Joseph and Mary’s trip to Egypt. The Bible does not tell us any other significance to these three gifts; however, tradition has it that there is a deeper meaning for each of the three. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:10-17). The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh.
Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out. It is highly fragrant when burned and was therefore used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God (Exodus 30:34). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.
Myrrh was also a product of Arabia, and was obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a spice and was used in embalming. It was also sometimes mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink was given to our Savior when He was about to be crucified, as a stupefying potion (Mark 15:23). In other words, it would make his body numb. Matthew 27:34 refers to it as “gall.” Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction.
The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
Our remarkable savior refused the gall (Matthew 27:33 – 34). He loved us enough to take on our sins FULL FORCE! Isn’t it overwhelming that even Jesus’ jubilant birth with the magi offering him awesome gifts prophetically points to his somber death on the cross which is Jesus’ gift to us?
Okay, there is a very brief explanation of the Three Kings (LOL). I absolutely LOVE the hymn “We Three Kings”. The key and the harmony are perfect, and it always sends chills down my spine and puts tears in my eyes when I hear/sing about the birth of Jesus the Christ child. Enjoy!