Monday, July 7, 2014

Grace by which we live

Esther 4:10-11  Then Esther spoke to Hathach and gave him a message for Mordecai, saying, “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner court without being called, there is but one law—all alike are to be put to death. Only if the king holds out the golden scepter to someone, may that person live. I myself have not been called to come in to the king for thirty days.” 
Esther 4: 16  Then Esther said in reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” 

Even though the story of Esther is quite ancient, it has many parallels with our modern Christian walk with GodThe story has different meanings for the Jewish faith than it does for the Christian faith, and for Christians, grace is a predominant theme.  Queen Esther replaced the disobedient Queen Vashti, and the undercurrent idea was that Esther's obedience won the favor of the King. Now, Mordecai is asking Esther to disobey a law, a very powerful law, in order to gain an audience with the King.  At first, Esther hesitates to do what Mordecai asks because, obviously, she has made it this far because of her obedience, and she does not want to risk her life to disobey.   

Esther's choice to go before the King has a great parallel to our modern Christian walkWe can be as obedient as possible to all of God's laws, but when we approach God, all of the obedience is wiped away in the light of the one fact, that "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.  The punishment for sin is judgment and death because "All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law" Romans 2:12.  

However,  in the story of Esther, there is a provision that if the King grants grace to the supplicant, the person may live, and so it is in our Christian walk as wellIf God extends His grace to us, He will overlook our sins and hear our requestsRomans 6:23 sums up this wonderful favor, this marvelous grace:  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  We can come before the throne of God because the cross of Christ is the golden scepter that grants grace to us.