When I first sat down to write this post, I sat and blinked for awhile at the scripture.
"Hmm." says I to myself, "There isn't a Veggie Tales about this part...now what?" (just kidding. Mostly.)
I consulted the uber wise theologian that happens to live at my house, and asked him to help me. He helped me a bit too much, and I had to ask him to dumb it down a bit, cause dude. I don't fire on all cylinders some days. I also confess that I am guilty of that which many Christians are guilty of. Superficial study of the bible. It's all too easy to skip over "boring" parts, or take certain verses at face value, without delving deeper. Is not our God capable of many meanings? Is not He capable of taking verses to levels of depth that aren't immediately visible? I know that's probably a point of contention amongst Christians, the interpretation of scripture can be tricky.
That being said, at first glance, these verses seemed "boring", at least to me. I think it's really because I hadn't delved deeper, or looked further into the many faucets of what God is saying here.
So, after consulting my resident brilliant theologian, he emailed me this:
In the context of the New Testament Christ, as both fully man and fully God, condescended His own deity to dwell amongst those who would reject him and ultimately kill him, with the expressed goal of intently and purposefully suffering for sin the way those for whom salvation is affective should have suffered. Stated another way, in the Old Testament God’s own righteousness was affectively reckoned to Israel based on God’s own character and His choosing to save a certain people; in the New Testament the righteousness of the Son (the God man), which was God’s own righteousness, was reckoned to the elect based on God’s own character and His choosing to save a certain people.
In the Old Testament we see this promised and described in sort of distant terms with respect to the daily lives of the people. As I see it, the book of Esther takes a specific circumstance of persecution and the peril of one who sought to destroy God’s people and then applies God’s promise to a situation in which one living at that time would have no problem seeing themselves. It is even more interesting than this because if one considers the role of women at the time, in a Hebrew context, as well as in the immediate context of the protocol of the court of the King, it is intriguing to think that God used a woman as the means by which he upheld His promise, endowing her with the responsibility to, despite her fear, personally invest herself in the promise of God by more or less sacrificing her life. In the end her life was not literally demanded of her. But it was demanded spiritually. Esther was called in her generation to be the means by which God delivered His people, and the means by which God displayed Himself to be glorious and faithful. This (the glory and faithfulness of God) more than the focus on Esther’s personal courage, or Mordecai’s mortal trust in this woman in a culture that didn’t routinely credit such tasks as within the ability of women, is what is displayed in the book of Esther. And though the other sub-points may be true (Esther did have great courage, Mordecai had great trust in Esther, etc) they dwarf in comparison to the glory of the unchanging God who has based His activities upon His own good pleasure and nothing else.