Later this month, Jewish people around the world will be celebrating Purim, the Feast of Esther. The book of Esther tells one of the most powerful stories about G-D’s deliverance of His people that we read about in the Bible. Yet, most of the people who proclaim faith in G-D and believe the Bible is the Word of G-D choose not to celebrate Purim. Now, I know that many people who are a part of the Body of Messiah see the Feast of Purim as a “Jewish Holiday.”
But, by looking at this Feast in that light, believers in Yeshua as Messiah miss out on celebrating a Feast that declares the Gospel, or the Good News, in a way that no other book of the Bible does. As a matter of fact, it can be argued that the Book of Esther is the only book of the Bible that presents the complete Gospel within its pages.
Let me explain. There are many stories in the books of the Bible that share parts of the greater narrative of the Bible. Here are a few quick examples of the partial expressions of the greater narrative. In Genesis, we read that the Messiah would be born of a woman and that He would be Abraham’s seed. Exodus tells the story of the Lamb of G-D whose blood saved His people. The sacrificial system of Leviticus explains how the sacrifice of Yeshua could bring atonement. The Prophets share glimpses of the promise of Messiah and the deliverance of Israel. Even the poetry of Psalms gives us insights into the promised redemption. But, each of these books only share parts or aspects of the complete Good News.
Only the Book of Esther holds within its pages the fullness of the Good News. That is because the Good News has two parts that work together in tandem. The Good News is not just about the salvation of the individual; it is also about the salvation of Israel. The Book of Esther is the only Book that shares the interwoven story of the redemption of the individual (in this case Esther) and the redemption of Israel.
Too often, today’s Good News is focused completely on the individual. We are asked the questions “Are you saved?” or “what are you doing to help people get saved?” When was the last time you were asked “what are you doing to see Israel saved?” Let me clarify that while Israel is a country that has an eternal covenant with G-D, as believers in the New Covenant writings, we know Israel is much broader than just the nation, or even just the Jewish people.
In the book of Esther, we see both parts of the Good News displayed for all to see, woven together in such a way that without the redemption of Esther, there would not have been a redemption of Israel. If any group of people should read the book of Esther and celebrate the Feast of Esther, it should be the Body of Messiah. However, I believe one of the reasons that it isn’t celebrated is because most of the Body of Messiah has focused so much on the redemption of the individual that they have lost the second half of the Good News, the redemption of Israel.
To understand this concept of the two halves of the Good News, open your Bible and read Romans chapter 11. And when you complete the chapter, start making plans to celebrate Purim and rejoice in the Good News of Esther that Yeshua came to redeem people individually and corporately.