A bundle of myrrh [is] my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night between my breasts. — Song of Solomon 1:13
Fragrances and herbs mentioned in the Holy Scriptures are physically enriching as well as rich spiritually with symbolism. Each represents the virtues and characteristics of Yeshua’s (Jesus) perfection and what He desires in the Bride of Messiah.
We see the revelation of spices and fragrances in Song of Solomon 1:13. In the bride’s response to the King, her statement reflects a popular custom of laying a bundle of myrrh on one’s chest while sleeping as a beauty treatment in preparation for a wedding.
The Hebrew word for myrrh is Mowr which means “distilled,” and comes from the root word Marar which means “bitterness.”
During the Messiah’s final agonizing hours in the Garden of Gethsemane, the weight of the world’s sins crushed our Savior like a wine press, causing Him to sweat great tears of blood. His bitter sufferings can be compared to myrrh, a highly-prized spice used for perfumes and incense, extracted by piercing the tree’s heartwood and allowing the gum to trickle out and harden into bitter, aromatic red droplets called “tears.” When the myrrh flows from the tree, it is distilled in bitterness.
As joint heirs with the Messiah, we are to share in His afflictions according to 2 Corinthians 1:5, so that we His bride can be triumphant through the bitterness of suffering. Myrrh represents the bitter sufferings of Yeshua (Jesus) as a man on earth, whereby He learned obedience unto death by emptying himself of His own will (Hebrews 5:8; Philippians 2:7-8).
As His bride, just as the disciples did, we must follow Yeshua (Jesus) in denying one’s own will so as to obey Him (Matthew 16:24-25).
Myrrh signifies the bitter sufferings of Yeshua (Jesus) at Calvary. The Scriptures says in Isaiah 53:5, “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities.”
In the book of Esther we learn how Hadassah (Esther’s Hebrew name, which means “myrtle”) underwent almost a year of beauty treatments with spices and cosmetics to make her desirable for the King. Esther was prepared with the help of a eunuch (symbolic of the Holy Spirit) that provided her with the oil of myrrh. In the way Esther was prepared, the Spirit provides His betrothed with the oil of myrrh which allows us to share in His sufferings. Philippians 3:10-11 tells us:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
The Scriptures also tell us to rejoice in these trials. Colossians 1:24 says, “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind on the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.”
As part of the body of Messiah, we too will bear His portion of affliction, as a part of Him. However, since the bride is considered the “second Eve,” like her we have been taken out of the side of the “last Adam” and will be taken to a place of protection during the final hours of Jacob’s trouble.
In fact, when the Messiah returns for His bride, we will actually “smell” His coming because His garments have been soaked in these fragrances in the midst of the throne room. Revelation 8:3-4 tells us that the original altar of incense continues to be used before the throne of God in Heaven. Psalm 45:8 describes Yeshua’s (Jesus) garments: “All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.”
These spices are emitted in our lives when we clothe ourselves with righteous acts and deeds as the Bride of Christ and spend quality time with Him. Just like when a spouse or good friend greets you with a hug and is wearing cologne or perfume, their fragrance lingers with you after they are gone. So it is with Yeshua (Jesus). People will begin to recognize there is something different about you when you have been in His presence. We are to be the “fragrance of Christ to our Heavenly Father” as mentioned in the Old Testament and again in 2 Corinthians 2:15: “For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.”