This year, Purim and Easter collide in a beautiful demonstration of the power of God. Click here to find out more!

This year, Purim and Easter collide in a beautiful demonstration of the power of God, which is able to rescue whole nations for His name’s sake according to the covenant He has made. Romans 1:16: For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

Salvation of the Jews led to salvation of the world! John 4:22: You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Think about it… if the Jewish people had been annihilated back then, how would it have impacted on how the rest of Scripture and history was played out?

The Jewish Festival of Purim is a celebration Mordechai established in the book of Esther. Esther 9:20-26: Mordechai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far…calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy. So the Jews accepted Mordechai’s proposal and adopted this annual custom. Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, had plotted to crush and destroy them on the date determined by casting lots (the lots were called purim). But when Esther came before the king, he issued a decree causing Haman’s evil plot to backfire, and Haman and his sons were impaled on a sharpened pole. That is why this celebration is called Purim, because it is the ancient word for casting lots.

During the celebration – which is still marked with feasting and gladness – Jewish people recount the Esther story, very much like a pantomime performance involving all the family! Complete with costumes, masked villains, lots of noise and joviality. Boo the villain Haman; Cheer the victorious Mordechai!

The story of Esther is just one of many accounts throughout the history of the Jewish people highlighting the desire of evil men to annihilate God’s Chosen People. But each time, God steps in to protect and save His people, Israel.

Each time someone threatens His Chosen People, God steps in to protect and save them. Even today.

Today, we see the same hand of protection over God’s people still being held over them. And in His merciful grace, God extends His salvation beyond the Jewish people to the whole world. John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The prophesied Jewish Messiah was sent by God to redeem the world to Himself. Although Jesus told a Gentile woman “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 14:24) His salvation is freely available to “whoever believes in Him”.

So as the Jewish people celebrate Purim, and Christians celebrate Easter, the Church can easily adopt the same sense of celebration as the Jewish people as we rejoice in our salvation. Far from being the sombre, reverent “quiet” festival, isn’t it time we learned to commemorate that “sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy” with much rejoicing and… Celebration!

Posted by Phil Bowell on .