There are a number of ways to provide a pleasant aroma in a room. We use aromatic sprays, scented candles, and various fragrance enhancers. Well, have you ever been in a room where incense was burning? The sweet smell of incense permeates everywhere.
One of the treasures the wise men brought to Jesus was the gift of frankincense. In Matthew 2:11 we read, “…and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” As the wise men fell down and worshiped Jesus, they brought gifts that represented the major elements of worship in the Old Testament.
In Exodus 31:11, after describing the structural elements of gold in the Tabernacle, two other elements are given prominence – the anointing oil, and the sweet incense. Now the major ingredient of sweet incense was frankincense.
The Hebrew word for “frankincense” is the word which comes from the word for white – lavan. It is named from its appearance as the whitest of the gum resins for incense and was specifically known for its sweet aroma.
Frankincense was a major element of Israel’s worship and was used in a number of ways. It was included in the meal offering to make it a sweet-smelling savor unto God; it was sprinkled over the top of the Shewbread in the Holy Place; and its major use was that it was the incense burned on the Altar of Incense. In other words, when you walked into the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, the entire room would be filled with the sweet odor of frankincense. Now, everything in the Holy Place is symbolic of some aspect of Christ, and the frankincense speaks of His sweetness.
Have you discovered the sweetness of Christ? He is our frankincense!
Say – When the odors of life are pungent and acrid and musty and foul – it’s encouraging to reflect on the sweetness of Christ.