When we meet Esther, who comes to mind but Rachel, mother of Israel, likewise “beautiful of form and face” (Gen. 29:17)!
This is no mere coincidence, not just a common manner of talking at that time. Through Rachel and Esther, the Divine Author is pulling on the female narratival line that carries us from the Garden of Eden, forward to the Mothers of Israel, on to the Bride of Jesus Christ, His people, His church. He is taking us to the end of time as we know it, to that time after time. To the Wedding Feast of the Lamb (Rev. 21). God is taking us home to our Saviour.
But there are other things to note about Esther that bring us closer to Christ.
She has no father and mother, and so is adopted by Mordecai, “the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite.” God here directs our gaze both to the contrast between Mordecai (little man) and his ruthless relative Saul (handsome, tall) and also to the similarities between Mordecai and Boaz. God is positioning Mordecai as a type of Christ.
Like Boaz, Mordecai is a kinsman redeemer, but in this case, he takes Esther as his own daughter (2:7). As we read this, we are to wonder at our own adoption into the household of God. Notice how Esther does nothing to enter this house of redemption. Rather, “Mordecai took her as his own daughter.” And again, when Esther enters the palace of King Ahasuerus, like the other young women “She would not again go in to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name” (2:14). As Paul teaches us,
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
And look what comes of this. See here what happens to Esther, when she enters the king’s palace and meets Hegai, the king’s servant.
Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem … And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.Esther 2:9, 15 (see also Revelation 21 again!)
Here again God draws together Esther and the women of His Word. Having rejected the king’s banquet, Vashti found no favour (see Deut. 24:1), like Esau, like Israel. But Esther is Hannah (1 Sam. 1:17-19),
she is Ruth (Ruth 2:2, 2:10),
she is the wife of Proverbs (Prov. 18:22),
she is Mary, Mother of God (Luke 1:30).
She is us.
Esther is all those who put their trust in Jesus Christ, who from His birth increased in wisdom and stature, in favour of God and man (Luke 2:52).
Through Jesus’s favour, we have obtained favour.
For he who finds me finds life and obtains favour from the Lord.
Jesus our Bridegroom will not let us forget this. The book of Luke records that having resisted Satan’s temptation in the wilderness, Jesus traveled through Galilee and on to Nazareth. And entering the synagogue on the Sabbath, He stood up to read. The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And Jesus opened the book and found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.
He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set free those who are oppressed,
19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.
As Mordecai the Jew “was great among the Jews and in favour with his many kinsmen,” (Esther 10:3), as his ancestors Joseph, Moses and David also found favour in God’s sight, so Jesus proclaims our time of favour. He surrounds us with favour, as with a shield (Psalm 5:12).
In a favourable time, God has answered us.
And in a day of salvation He has helped us.
He will keep us and give us for a covenant of the people,
to restore the land,
to make us inherit the desolate heritages.