17.  ESTHER

           Willing Sacrifice: Selfless lover. Est 4:16; Jn 10:17,18

The book of Esther does not employ any names of God, but God’s fingerprints are throughout.

One root word from the name Esther is “satar” which meant to hide or conceal. It is used of God in the book of Ezekiel.

And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid (sathar) my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. Eze 39:23

God can fulfill His will through His servants without intervening Himself. He can work behind the scenes. And if His servants are unwilling, He can raise up others. God is sovereign and His goals will always be achieved.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Est 4:14

Esther was a type of Jesus, as she selflessly was willing to lay down her life for her people, just as Jesus did. It is interesting that Esther told Mordecai to gather all the Jews and fast for three days and three nights. Her proclaiming a fast for all the people was to procure God’s help in securing the victory.

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” Est 4:15,16

The Pharisees asked Jesus for a sign that they might believe in Him, but Jesus refused to do any miracles, instead He gave them the example of the prophet Jonah.

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Mt 12:40

Jesus is the Father’s Willing Sacrifice, who went to the Cross to pay the debt that we owed.

 …For the joy set before him he endured the crossscorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:2

 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” Jn 10:17,18

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Jn 15:13