The story of Esther in the Bible has been captivating to Christians over many generations - I just think of how many Christian women I know named Esther! I have always thought of Esther as an example of courage and faith that I should follow... which isn't wrong, but I was recently mind blown after reading in a book that if that's all we read Esther for, we have missed something important. See, if we take Esther merely as an example to follow, deep down we are motivated by guilt. And while guilt might change our behaviour for a little while, in the long term it runs out of power and can never change our hearts. Here's the second way we could read Esther: Esther identifies with a condemned people (the Jews) and mediated for them before the king at the risk of her own life. Can you think of someone else who does these two things: identifies and mediates? Jesus identifies with a condemned people (us sinners) and mediated before God at the cost of his own life. Wow! Esther is not just an example to us, she's a pointer to Jesus! The book goes on to say: "and if you see Jesus not as an example but as a Savior doing these things for you personally, then you will see how valuable you are to him. Meditate on these things, and the truth will change your identity. It will convince you of your real, inestimable value. And ironically, when you see how much you are loved, your work will become far less selfish. Suddenly all the other things in your work life - your influence, your resume and the benefits they bring you - become just things. You can risk them, spend them, and even lose them. You are free."
Inspired by and quoted from Chapter 7 of Every Good Endeavour by Timothy Keller