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Advent 2015: Born Is The King: Day 19

Jesus Is The True & Better Esther

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Today's Text: Esther 5:1-8, Esther 7:1-10, Esther 8:1-8, Philippians 2:4-11

Text: Esther 5:1-8, Esther 7:1-10, Esther 8:1-8, Philippians 2:4-11

I have this hope about when we get to heaven (which isn’t said ANYWHERE in Scripture so don’t hold me to this theology) that there will be some sort of movie theater where we can watch our favorite Bible stories.

I love the Bible, and I love all the tiny details we are given, but there’s so much more I want to see! The colors, the weather, the tones of voice and the sounds in the background. I want the full technicolor and surround-sound experience of these stories that we have known and read in the Word.

Like Noah and the ark. Seriously, how many animals was he able to fit in there? Or Jonah and the whale. I don’t particularly want to watch his extraction from the whale’s vantage point—but then again, I kinda do. And then there’s Jesus in the manger and when the wise men show up, and little Mary in her new role as mama to the King.

But one particular story I’ve always loved is that of Queen Esther. Well, just teen Esther to start, but Queen by the finish. When it comes to this story in particular, with the high drama and the fashion and the plot twists, I want to watch it like a movie.

At the start of chapter 5, we see Esther making a crazy-brave step—going to the king uninvited. She puts on her royal clothing, probably layered and heavy, bedazzled from top to bottom (which I would love). And then she does something unexpected: she enters a place where she is not necessarily welcomed.

I want to watch the movie of this real moment. I want to hear Esther’s dress swish across the stones as she walks. I want to see her pause before she turns the corner and take a deep breath. I want to see her make eye contact with the king.

I want to see the spread laid out on the table in Esther 7, the hot soups and the cold charcuterie, the goblets of wine and the fruit and floral arrangements. I can imagine leaning forward in my seat as the drama unfolds around that banqueting table, and Queen Esther says the thing that changes everything.

I want to see it all because that story at its moment in time saved the nation of Israel. It isn’t the first time we read about God saving His people, and it definitely wasn’t the last.

When I imagine seeing the story of Esther in this way, my mind turns to Jesus and what it would be like to watch the stories of Him from the Bible unfold on the heavenly movie screen. I have never juxtaposed the two, never stood them next to each other; but in today’s reading, when I see Esther and Jesus side-by-side, it makes me teary. Esther was showing us, long before the Gospels were written, that one person’s sacrifice and courage could save millions.

Esther gave up her life for a place, a palace, that was not her home.

Jesus gave up heaven for a broken place full of broken people who needed Him.

Esther risked her life to save the people of Israel from physical death.
Jesus gave His life to save us all from eternal death.

The word picture is enough to make my heart sing along with the beloved Christmas song:

“A thrill of hope a weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”

I can only imagine the thrill of hope that passed through the Israelites’ homes when they heard their planned extinction was repealed by Esther’s courage. It’s the same thrill of hope we have in this season, knowing that Jesus’ courage in coming to Earth and going to the Cross has given us each a new and glorious and eternal morning, repealing after the darkness of our sin. Esther’s appeal to the king is a foreshadowing of Christ’s appeal to God the Father, offering His life in place of our own, rescuing us from certain destruction.

As the movie closes, we walk out of the theater, and the song continues as it should:

“Fall on your knees…”

Fall on your knees in thanks and in praise, with a new understanding of what Jesus did: He accomplished the true and eternal rescue of His people.

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  • LOVE your thoughts on this biblical account/story! I hadn’t thought about Esther foreshadowing Christ! Her courage, her sacrifice, her appeal to save her people – neat.
    P.S. I have ALWAYS thought that there will be a movie or live theatre in Heaven where God will allow us to see the Biblical stories just like we were really there! So fun that others think this too!

  • Erin Springer

    I am a BIG movie buff and I’ve always said I hoped that in heaven I can “watch” the stories of the Bible like I would watch a movie!! I was excited to read that I’m not alone in that hope. :) I love how you brought this story to life with your descriptions!

  • this has be think of modern times. what one action now could save many in courage and His guidance?

  • I loved this comparison! I think Esther was amazing and I hope my story reflects Christ like hers did – in selfless brave faith!
    I imagined Esther weeping before the King and Jesus weeping too – first I thought about how He weeps over Jerusalem because He knows destruction will come to that city at the hand of the Romans and in the day of judgement because they didn’t believe in Him. And of Jesus weeping in the garden pleading with His Father about His own life.

  • Love this! Your beautiful way with words was practically a movie in itself. :)

  • Amen! Love the incorporation of the song- which is a favorite. Thanks for your heart!

  • Amen… Love this.

  • Annie – the movie screen is brilliant! I can hear the suspenseful music too… Thank you for your heart, thank you Jesus for being brave to be made in the likeness of man, to give us something to rejoice about!

  • Carissa

    My favorite so far!!

  • Pam Kirven

    Moving

  • cynthia

    I have no words. . . my heart is so touched by this truth and this “picture” that I fall on my knees.
    thank you

    • Carolyn

      I have exactly the same response…moved to tears and praise gratitude.

    • Andrea

      Yes! Exactly! Fall on your knees….thank you Jesus for your sacrifice.

  • Allison

    I love this story. In a way it makes me think of our children or relationships in our lives. If we seek to teach/share God’s love in one person’s life, how many more lives will that touch! It may not be millions but think of how many lives you touch in your years on earth, it’s a lot I’m sure. Each person we have relationship with has that same potential. Thank you for this beautiful lesson. I’m hoping for the movie theater experience too!

  • Beautiful!!!!

  • This story will always hold a special place in my heart because I was named after her – this brave, strong character – I have a lot to live up to!

  • I’ve imagined that same kind of bible theatre in heaven as long as I can remember! Then afterwards getting to meet the actors, who are actually the real people! I agree Beth, it is the best one yet! :-)

  • Best one yet! This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible, I love movies, and the parallels were spot on – excellent!

  • monique

    i enjoy it all even the movie part we as christians and non christians need to hear this i lovvvve the way she put it.

  • I love this one. It’s such a beautiful comparison and Esther is my favorite biblical figure and her story has been my favorite since I read it at the age of 8. When you look at her selflessness as an example of the love that God has for His people, and the coming gift of the Messiah you get a full and beautiful picture of the grace He offers to us. On a human level we can get no closer to replicating Christ’s sacrifice than Esther did.

    • She Reads Truth

      So happy to see you here today, Reese! Praying for your time in God’s Word!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Annaliese

    Loving all these stories told with a gospel approach rather than the Sunday School morality mindset in which I first learned them.

  • In this season that is so self-centered (from the way /we/ like the decorations, to the gifts /we/ want, to the feelings of rest /we/ so greatly desire), these verses bring a wave of humility. IT IS NOT ABOUT US. And although it is easy to write that, I have so much trouble living it out. Everywhere I turn, selfishness tempts me. And both Esther and Jesus felt tempted as well. Humility wasn’t just the easy choice for them, they made a decision each moment to stay in humility. But while Esther did a pretty good job, only Jesus humbled Himself completely, creating a pattern for us all. For who of us is more deserving than God? No one. And since Christ humbled Himself, we must follow in His graceful footsteps.

    Yes, they are footsteps of grace, because when we start acting in accordance with the truth (that the world does not revolve around us), there is freedom! Yes, freedom! For suddenly, it doesn’t really matter if the decorations are perfect, the gifts are pleasant, and the spirit is happy. All that matters of that Jesus receives the glory! Soli Deo Gloria!

  • What I really love about this study is that it continues to show a sacrifice of self for something greater. I am learning to trust Jesus in all things, but I am also learning that my obedience to Him continues to humble me, bring me to His will, and sacrifice my self and my will for the completion of His. I am so glad that Jesus came to do this all for us. That in the moments when I choose my self and my wants over Jesus that His grace is sufficient to keep me until I learn that I’ve got to choose His way every time. Thanks for this comparison as the obedience of Esther was for that very special time, as well as Christ’s obedience for us! Amazed.

  • Heidi Biersner

    I’m not sure how I feel about the movie theater idea, seems irreverent. Heaven will be spent worshiping the one who saved us, not dwelling on things of old. Creating the scenario she did seems to make light of the point. We aren’t saved to have eternal vacation.

    Otherwise I enjoyed the pairing of the two readings and how apparent it is that Christ is the true & better everything in each of these stories. This makes me all the more thankful that God gave His only Son – the perfect sacrifice- and that Christ came willingly in obedience to save me from my sin and redeem me once and forever.
    I greatly enjoyed the thought on our new and eternal glorious morning!

    • Katie

      I have to disagree with you on the movie theater point. There is worship in reliving the great and amazing things God has done to save his people. I think about how too many times to count God introduces or references himself as “the God who brought his children out of Egypt”, “the god who delivers, or the “God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob”. I believe God is also and just as fully worshipped retelling His acts of deliverance; it illustrates his character and our deep need for Him.

    • Jan

      Heaven is our eternal home where we will continue to learn and relate to those around us. With Jesus at the center we will continue to grow in our understanding of who he is. I look forward to fellowship with Him and one another.

  • Loved this one!! Thank you.

  • A thrill of hope a weary world rejoices… Ahhh, what exquisite words!!! Our hope, and the Israelites’ hope, came through those (Christ and Esther) who courageously and obediently made themselves low (i.e. humbled themselves) to save others. Help each of us, Oh LORD, to obediently and humbly step into our “such a time as this” with courage so that others might be saved. Thank you Annie and May God Bless each of the “she’s” who read truth.

  • Caroline @ In Due Time

    I have never thought of that before, but yes!! I would LOVE to see it all in action! I love details and am such a visual person.. I can’t imagine it coming all to life in that way! http://www.in-due-time.com

  • Leenda324

    Never ever thought of Esther as a foreshadowing if Jesus. Wow.

  • Love the way you write, Annie! The movie theater in heaven will surely have a front row seat for YOU.

  • It was difficult for me to read this devotion with dry eyes. The story of Esther is so striking in its comparison to Jesus. And O Holy Night…I can never get through singing that Christmas hymn without quavering lip and full heart. Beautiful reading today. Thank you.

    • She Reads Truth

      I’m so with you, Julia! Grateful for these truths!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Rebekah

    Praise God! Such a great message today.

    As a sidenote, our pastor has said so many times that he hopes there is the ability in Heaven to see all the events of the Bible on replay, as well. :) haha That would be so awesome!

  • Esther is also one of my favorites. Annie, I am like you…I would love to see it. The drama, the look on Haman’s face, and the reaction of the people. “For such a time as this,” God sees the big picture. He knows what we will face. He knows how it is woven into his plan. We just have to obey! I am constantly remind of this with a two year old in the house! Do I always obey? Do I obey in the little things and the big things? So thankful for this series…my heart is full of God’s goodness, forgiveness, and peace! Jesus was humble and obedient.

    • Liz

      Thank you for sharing this. I have a just turned two year old who I’ve been expecting perfection from. I’ve told him “I wish you would just obey!” But how often am I obedient to Christ, how often would he be saying those words to me if he hadn’t taken my place on the cross? A great reminder for me!

    • Eeleah

      Oh yes, same as me!

  • Also, Esther was in the direct lineage to Christ. If she hadn’t been obedient to save the Jews and herself It would have changed everything!

  • Oh holy night is the one song that always gives me chills. I love our Jesus! This study has made me so thankful for the life and sacrifice

    • She Reads Truth

      Yes, yes, yes, Callie! So glad you are here, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • thank you Jesus for taking my sin upon yourself to redeem me. I am not deserving , but you did it anyway.

  • ClaireB

    This study of “Jesus is the better________”. Has been fascinating. I never made those comparisons before. Thanks to the SRT team.

  • Churchmouse

    Because Esther took her petition boldly before the king, she saved her nation. Jesus petitioned the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane (“Thy will be done”) and became the way for the salvation of us all. Who knows who might be saved when I go boldly to the Lord in intercessory prayer?

  • As a “newbie” to the bible, this is the first time I have read about Esther. I have heard about her before, but this morning’s devotional paints a beautiful picture. What a brave woman. May I be this brave when spreading the Good News.

    • She Reads Truth

      I love this thought, Joanna! Thanks for joining us today, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Dannielle

    If Esther wasn’t obedient, the Jewish people would be wiped out and Christ would not have been able to save them.

  • This devotional is beautiful! Yes, indeed, the weary world rejoices!

  • Many have said they love, but never before considered, the foreshadowing of Jesus in these early stories. For those of you who really like it, might I suggest the tradition of a Jesse Tree? It was new to me last year, and last Christmas we did our first one. You can google it for more info (there are many variations), but basically it’s an advent activity that begins with creation and follows hints of the coming Messiah through scripture, through the month of December, until you finish with the baby in the manger in Christmas Day. It’s become one of my most favorite traditions. :-)

    • Churchmouse

      Agree! I use Ann Vos Kamp’s book The Greatest Gift. There are free Jesse Tree ornaments you can download from her website. Awesome addition to Advent

  • Beverly

    8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient
    to the point of death —
    even to death on a cross. (Philippians 2)

    This was the plan. God’s plan all along. For Jesus.
    He also had a plan for Esther.
    And He has a plan for you and me.
    There is such peace in knowing that God has a plan. In it all. Through it all. When life doesn’t make sense. When the pieces fall perfectly or imperfectly into place – because they always do. In great joy. And in great sorrow. He always has a purpose and plan.
    Will I see it? Will I know? Can I be as bold and courageous as Esther? Can I be humble and obedient like Jesus? The call on my life may not be to save a people or all people. But there is a call to care for and to love the people that God has placed in my life, on my path.
    There is a purpose. There is a plan. Grateful He holds my life in His hands. He is not surprised. Not taken aback. Not perplexed by any shape my life takes. Because He already knows it all. My days, your days are written in His book (Psalm 139:16).
    Eternally grateful He had a plan all along to bring us back to Him through the sacrifice of His perfect Son. Thankful we can celebrate the birth of His grand plan this month. That we can prepare our hearts, make room for Jesus during Advent. That each year we can remember – and not forget – His gracious, miraculous plan of redemption. For us, His people.
    Praying for a humbled, obedient, bold, courageous heart postured to Him, to His grand plans over my life. This season and every season. Because I can be, I am a part of His story. My story matters because it was written by Him, for Him. And He writes the best stories. Praying I can glorify Him by living out His best story, His plan full of grace upon grace over me. And that throughout my story, I can walk with Jesus. He is a part of my story too. Grateful for God’s plans, for Jesus.
    I am here… “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

    • Megan

      I never thought about that beautiful paradox before – “bold and courageous” & “humble and obedient.” Both Esther and Jesus were courageous enough to obey.

  • Linda J

    Never identified this comparison, foreshadowing. Never cease to be amazed at how God weaves His word together for my benefit. Thank you for revealing another example of his love and provision.

  • Missy CM

    “A thrill of hope a weary world rejoices
    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”

    This is Christmas. This is Easter. This is each Resurrection day in the heart on one who´s turned back to their first Love. May this thrill of hope bring myself and these shes to the proper posture before You, Lord.

    • Churchmouse

      Amen!

    • Gigi in Afton

      “That you, Jesus, the most brilliant, beautiful person in the universe, lost your physical attraction (Isaiah 53)so that we, being physically unsightly, could be beautiful in the eyes of God.” -Ann VosKamp, The Greatest Gift

    • She Reads Truth

      LOVE this, Missy! Thanks for sharing today!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • Esther risked her life – Jesus gave His life. Esther – to saved her own people from physical death, Jesus – to save all people from eternal death.
    “He emptied Himself – taking on the likeness of men. He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross”
    This is the good news of great joy that brings a thrill of hope to a weary world.

  • Esther is my favorite woman o scripture. I have never seen the comparison to Christ, but I love it!

  • *I always

  • Always Annie…always connect with the thoughts/words the Lord puts on your heart to share with the shereadstruth community! Thank you for your obedience to listen and share!

  • Philippians 2:4-11—–perfect lesson, perfect direction, perfect truth.

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