My kids are playing in the Chick-fil-A playground, and I notice there’s a bully. An older boy is pushing, taunting, and hitting this younger lad. The bully starts hitting his victim with his own shoes, pushing him into the shoe cabinet over and over. Time to put my Icedream cone down.
I march in. “Hey! Quit it!” The bully and I lock eyes. He wonders if he can do anything to me. He can only say, “You aren’t my dad. You can’t tell me what to do.” He’s right. So, I told him the truth. “You’re right. But I can find your dad and tell him what you are doing to this kid.” Justice was served. His dad heard the news.
I felt pretty good about myself driving home. While I stood up for a helpless little boy, my actions didn’t cost me much. My ice cream melted a little. But real heroics are costly.
Mordecai hears about Haman’s sinister plan for the Jewish people, and he knows Esther has to do something. She’s the only one who can get to the king. She can stand up for the helpless. And as a Jew, she herself is in danger too.
Do you resonate with Mordecai’s humility here? He doesn’t force the issue and try to be the hero. He recognizes someone else is better suited for what must be done. Instead of trying to be the hero, he encourages Esther, the one who’s been placed in the position of influence. I wonder who is on the brink of doing great and faithful things for God but only needs a little of our encouragement.
Esther agrees with Mordecai, even though she may perish by approaching the king. But this doesn’t stop her. “If I perish, I perish,” she says (Esther 4:16). If she helps to save God’s people, even at her own personal expense, she will do it.
Sacrifice and risk for redemption are at the heart of the gospel. Do you humbly see who your hero is? The one who accomplished what you couldn’t?
Brothers, Jesus is the true and better Esther. His heroics were costly. He perished to redeem us curse-bound people. He gave up His breath for us, in our place, on the cross, paying for our sins. He perished so that we would “never perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). But He didn’t stay in perish-mode. He rose again, conquering the curse, and today lives as the King of kings.
Rejoice in your Redeemer!
Written by J. A. Medders