Esther 8:17 In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating.  And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
The book of Esther is included in the Canon of Scripture for God to explain to his world the historical basis for the Jewish festival of ‘Purim’.  It is a time for his people to remember his faithfulness to his promises, his sovereign control over all nations and individuals, his covenant mercy to those in need, and his power and willingness to hear and answer their prayers.

We see here that the Jews’ public rejoicing in, and acknowledgment of, these things also had a powerful ‘evangelistic’ effect on outsiders.  As Christians today, we have the significant and very public festivals of Christmas and Easter, when we celebrate God’s gracious provision of a Saviour to redeem lost mankind.  Satan is doing all he can to undermine the impact of these celebrations in our society – not only by opposing them but, much more effectively, by devaluing them as the master of counterfeit!  As the Apostle Paul says, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

How important it is for us to keep Jesus – his miraculous birth, his atoning death and his bodily resurrection in real-time history – at the very centre of our celebrations.

Is our personal and corporate commitment to Christ, and the way our ransomed lives bear witness to his amazing grace, the sort of expression of his love and mercy that will cause others to put their trust in him and submit to him as Lord and King?

And are we praying earnestly for Jewish evangelism?  It is so sad that the Jewish people have been celebrating ‘Purim’ for over 2,500 years, and yet most of them continue to fail to celebrate an even greater ‘rescue plan’ than the one Purim celebrates – the Coming of their Saviour-Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, 2,000 years ago!  O that many more of them today would see how the Gospel accounts totally overshadow the story in Esther, and, in fact, are the very enactment of God’s Ultimate Rescue Plan, only foreshadowed and anticipated in their book of Esther.
– Bruce Christian