Part 2 of a 3 Part series. Click HERE to read last week’s post on Gold.

Today when we think of frankincense, we often think in terms of how we use it as an essential oil. What is an essential oil, anyway?

Essential oils are made from different parts of plants, specifically the part that gives that plant its fragrance (or essence). Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree found on the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. Frankincense oil is prepared through steam distillation of the gum resin from this tree.

Homeopathic uses of frankincense include treatment for inflammation, pain relief, and swelling. Some studies show that it, along with myrrh, have potential uses in cancer treatment. It also helps with asthma, arthritis, oral health, and stomach function. (Source:

Reading through many essential oils websites will also indicate that frankincense has antibacterial qualities, improves mood, has anti-aging effects, and boosts the immune system. (Disclaimer: I am not advocating the use of frankincense in any way, simply restating what I have read on various websites. I’m not a doctor, do your own research before deciding to start using anything for medical or health reasons.)

Symbolically, frankincense was used by priests for specific ceremonial purposes, so presenting frankincense to Jesus would have been a way to acknowledge his priesthood. 

“And the Lord said to Moses: ‘Take sweet spices … , and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. You shall make of these an incense, a compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you.”
Exodus 30:34-36

So what can we learn from this gift of frankincense? 

Frankincense oil is derived from the resin of a tree. The tree’s essence is harvested to produce this oil. God gives of Himself so that we can be imbued with His essence. Using reverse imagery, we could say that Jesus, the Son of God, was distilled from His spiritual form into a physical human form so we could partake in His divine nature. We become holy because we belong to Him. 

“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
2 Peter 1:4

The gift that Christ offers is not a one time gift of salvation at which point He goes back about His business until we see Him in heaven. No, He then gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we can have an ongoing, continuous relationship with Him during our time on earth. 

Our relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit impacts every area of our lives. Notice that in the above verses from Exodus, God commanded the incense be placed “where I will meet with you.” God wants to meet with us! Jesus’ birth is an invitation to enter divine relationship with the God of the universe. 

The closer we are to God the more we’ll see Him working to: 


“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
1 Peter 2:24


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:3-4


“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
Ephesians 6:10-13

Impart Holiness

“If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.”
Romans 11:16

The birth of Christ ushered in a new life for all mankind. Christ is our High Priest and the light of the world. When we embrace His light, His essence floods our souls making us new creations. What a precious gift we can be thankful for every day.