Friday, 18 March 2016

Celebrate Purim? Hadassah and Grace

If there is one story in the Bible that you should never stop reading until the very end, it is the breathtaking story of Esther with its multitude of hidden treasures.

Esther is the drama and the shadow of another story at a grand and perfect scale - the Eternal King's redemption plan for all man-kind, a life-giving truth with joy unspeakable and pleasures forevermore!

Pûrîm is a lesser Jewish festival held in spring (14 or 15 Adar on the Hebrew calendar - 24-25 March 2016).
A lesser feast because it is not associated with all the restrictions observed on the other Jewish holidays. The day commemorates the defeat of Haman's plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.

Pûrîm or feast of lots comes from the Hebrew word פור pur and commemorates the saving of the Jewish nation in Babylon (reign of the Persian empire) from the evil Haman, who was planning to totally eradicate the Jews. Haman cast lots to determine the day of extermination of the Jews.

In essence Pûrîm is a happy festival celebrating how God works all things together for good according to His purposes. During the feast the story of Esther is reenacted by children in synagogues and gifts are exchanged by friends and family. Giving to the poor is also considered a vital part of Pûrîm. A special Pûrîm meal is prepared for this day.



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How is this relevant to the Christian living in God's Grace?

Well, it is a shadow of the fulfillment of God's grand and ultimate plan to save His beloved from eternal eradication and condemnation by His Grace.

If you have read the story of Esther, you will recall how she found grace where there was no grace in terms of the untouchable laws of the Medes and Persians, how that contrary to these laws that state that anyone, including the queen, who approached the king unannounced was to be put to death immediately and how in her case the king intervened and extended grace towards his bride, against the law - in stark contrast to what happened to her predecessor, the beautiful queen Vashti.

The beauty of Vashti (even her name implies beauty) was indescribable ... yet, Esther was even more beautiful.

Grace is beautifully revealed in the story of Esther, even in her Hebrew name Hădassâh הֲדַסָּה. It speaks to what the feast of Pûrîm is all about. Let me rephrase that first part: Yah'shua, Jesus (Grace) is beautifully revealed in the story of Esther.

Hădassâh is the very same word used for the Myrtle tree, the evergreen, beautiful, fragrant tree found around Jerusalem symbolizing joy and peace. Only, with the addition of one other letter to the word, the letter Grace (hay), right at the end ...


This is significant!

Why?

Enters the Holy Spirit - the pictograph for Hădassâh - הֲדַסָּה:
הֲ - The Hebrew letter hay depicting open arms: behold, revealed, Grace.
דַThe Hebrew letter dalet depicting a door: opening, pathway.
סָּ The Hebrew letter samech depicting a hand on a staff: turn, prop, twist.
הThe Hebrew letter hay depicting open arms: behold, revealed, Grace.

The pictograph reads:
Behold the door opened to Grace (behold); or 
Grace opened the door to Grace.

HalleluYah! This is Grace upon Grace!

... and Who is the Open Door? Jesus referred to Himself as the open door on various occasions saying: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep." John 10:7, John 10:9, etcSee also here.

And Who is God manifested in the flesh ... openly revealed to behold?

Yah'shua, Jesus!

Wow!

I love how John the baptist confirms this, talking about Jesus when he says:

"And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace." John 1:16

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
  John 1:17

Jesus opens the door for more of Jesus!
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