Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house. So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter. Est 5:1-2
Yesterday we saw that Esther was facing a death sentence: if she went in to the king without being summoned, all who did so were immediately put to death, unless the king held out his scepter to them. Rarely did the king hold out his scepter. You can imagine, that coming without being summoned would not be a feared thing, if he routinely held out his scepter when it happened.
As Darius the Great’s predecessors on the throne, Cambyses and Smerdis, Cyrus’ sons, did not die natural deaths but were murdered, Darius, by instituting this decree about being summoned, was discouraging potential murderers from drawing near to his person.
So Esther faced death, and was willing to lay down her own life, in order to intercede to the king in behalf of her people, in order to save them. Self- sacrifice to save God’s people is a sign of Messiah in Scripture. When the king held out his scepter, her death sentence was lifted. We have seen in Torah and throughout Scripture, that miraculous deliverance from certain death is a type of resurrection, and is a sign of Messiah. Furthermore, we find the number three, as she and all the Jews fasted for three days in prayer, before she undertook her dangerous mission. She was in fact, “resurrected” on the third day. The number three is another sign of Messiah.
So, this is surprising. Here in a seemingly tacked on historical book, wherein God is not mentioned at all, we find the counterpart to Melchizedek, the ancient enemy of God, without father and without lineage, Amalek, represented in Amalek’s descendant Haman. We find the age old work of the antimessiah, the planned annihilation of God’s people. And we find multiple signs of the Messiah in Esther’s mission to intercede for her people’s salvation before the king.
In fact, I believe the history of Esther is a counterpart, a matching pair in a chiastic structure of the history of Israel recorded in Scripture, to the history of Joseph. The basic outline is a savior of the people is destined within someone unlikely: a youth, a woman. They do not discover their calling in their own country, but living in a Gentile nation. They are found in a lowly station in life. They are raised to rank, as helpers to the Gentile king, through favor and gifts which are bestowed on them by God. They realize that God prepared their high position, not for their own ease or comfort, but to save the people of God from certain death.
It is surprising that we find in Esther a type of Messiah, but there it is. This is history that prophesies, and we are seeing it played out again on the stage of history in our lifetimes, probably for the final time. Haman is once again setting the stage for the annihilation. The Gentile kings are being lured in as unwitting participants. Real intrigue and danger accompany all that His people do to counter the chess moves of the enemy, directed by His Spirit. But, God has prepared His Savior, and deliverance for His people will arrive from His quarter!