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Christ in the Book of Esther

23 Jul

Christ in the Book of Esther:  A Favoured Representative of the Chosen People

Read the whole book of Esther

Many of the Scarlet Threads we find in Scripture are represented by men; like Joseph, David, Jonah, and Melchizedek. We also see inanimate objects symbolizing our Redeemer; the rock smitten for us, the serpent on the pole, the scarlet thread, and manna. But here in the book of Esther, we see Queen Esther, herself, as a type of Christ.

Some criticize this book, since God is not explicitly mentioned. Yet He is everywhere present. He arranges to have Esther become Queen.  “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Est. 4:14b Mordecai believes even if Esther is disobedient, God will raise up deliverance from another quarter, because he had faith that God was not restricted in His plans, and would surely continue to preserve His people until the Messiah would come. Other events ‘just happen’, such as Mordecai’s discovery of a plot against the king; the king’s sleepless night where he happens to ask for some court documents to be read to him to bore him back to sleep, and they happen to read the part about Mordecai. There are no coincidences in the great plan of God.  He is in the book of Esther as the God of Providence and as a picture of Christ interceding for His chosen people.

Esther was a Jewess, although her husband, King Xerxes did not know this at first. “Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.”  Est.2:10 When Haman encouraged the King to make an unchangeable law that would annihilate the Jewish people in one day, Mordecai appealed to Esther to use her favoured  position to appeal to the King.

Christ has two natures; human and divine. This makes Him the perfect Intercessor. As a man, He can sympathise with us. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Heb. 4:15 Yet He has the favour of His heavenly Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because of the special relationship between Father and Son. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does…” John 5:20 Because of this relationship to His Father, He could approach Him with confidence, knowing he would receive favour from Him. “You are my Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession.” Psalm 2: 7, 8

To a lesser degree, Esther could sympathize with her people. “For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?” Est. 8:6  Yet only she could have an audience with the King,  who loved her. “The King loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the other virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her Queen instead of Vashti.” Est.2:17 “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!” Est. 5:3

Esther is willing to be numbered with her people. Mordecai warned her not to assume that she would be safe from the decree because she was royalty. “And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: ‘Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your fathers will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’” Est. 4:13,14

She shows courage, rather than resignation when she determines to go before the King, regardless of the consequences.  “…and so I will go to the King, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Est. 4:16b Christ went to Jerusalem, “his face set like a flint” even though He knew He would die there.

Esther was approaching a pagan king, not sure she would obtain favour, since she had not been summoned for a month.  Christ approaches the Father on our behalf, knowing He will be heard. “…Father I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me…” John 11: 41b, 42a.

Secondarily, for us, because of Christ’s work, we can approach the very throne room of the King of Kings and ask Him anything. “Let us therefore come boldly before the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:16

Esther had to worry about the sentence of death hanging over her head; we can approach because of promises of grace and favour. Because of the King’s love for Esther, he found a way to spare her people, without compromising his law. Likewise God the Father ‘found’ a way to extend mercy to us, while still upholding the standard set by His law, and punishing sin. “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Rom. 3:24-26

In the Cross we see the wisdom of God in that He does not compromise His own holiness nor the necessity of a remedy for our sin. Jesus, the God-man takes the punishment due to us on Himself, providing a propitiation, or an appeasement of the wrath of God, so that we may approach Him without fear.

Prayer– “Thank you, Lord for being my Intercessor. You understand my predicament, and You alone are qualified to appeal to God on my behalf, because of Your finished work. Thank you that because of what you’ve done, I can now approach the throne of grace to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Questions– Have you seen the Providence of God at work in your life? Does the knowledge of the sovereignty of God in the affairs of life cause you to feel peace or distress? When my husband was diagnosed with cancer when he was thirty-five, it was such a comfort to me to know that our situation did not take God by surprise, and that because He planned for it to come into our lives, He would also be with us. And He was.

Response– Pray for those in authority, “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”  1 Tim. 2:2 Pray for those in leadership in your life; in your home, at your work, in your church, your neighbourhood, your city, your province, your country. Send them an encouraging message and tell them you are praying for them.

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