JPM Sweet points out that the Greek word “Smyrna” means myrrh, the perfume given to Jesus by the magi and, importantly, part of the mix of spices used for Jesus’ burial (John 19:29). Jesus, the one who was dead and now lives, the one who was anointed with myrrh in His death and came to life, now sends a message to the church of myrrh,. which is also facing death but promised resurrection.
Myrrh was a component of the holy anointing oil for the priests (Exodus 30:23), and was one of the perfumes that created an aromatic cloud around the king (Song of Songs 3:6) and grew in the garden that was the bride (Song of Songs 4:14). With a church at Smyrna, Jesus is the myrrh-anointed Priest, the holy Lover, and the suffering church is also a priest in Him, the perfumed beloved.