As my mind was wandering today, as it often does, I began to think about how this Christmas is abundantly more meaningful to me than those past. This is because I've learned something this year that I had not know before about what Jesus came to earth for.
I think there is so much about God to learn that we'll never understand it all. And if you feel like there is more to know, I dare you to search for it, and don't give up until you are satisfied. But you won't be, because once you begin to understand, you will always yearn for more. God is good.
So I was thinking of a picture of what this means for me, and this is what came to mind to describe what I know thus far:
The book of Esther has always been intriguing to me. If you haven't read it, I hope you will. It is exciting. It does not say a thing about God, but it shows God. It shows God in a real life, very secular situation. I won't go through the entire story, but the part that spoke to me today. Here is some background.
Esther was picked queen after Vashti was booted. A remnant of the Jews lived in Persia, and they had enemies. There is history here, and true hate. Haman is the King's second in charge and had a driving passion to annihilate the Jews. Esther was a Jew, but no one knew it. Mordecai was her uncle.
Haman finally found a way to get his wish. The King gave him the signet ring and his blessing to order all Jews to be destroyed. It was made law. It could not be revoked.
Esther found the courage to stand up to Haman and reveal to the King his wicked plan. Haman perished. Mordecai took his place. The order still stood. The King could not undo it. However, he told Mordecai and Esther they had his signet ring to write a new order concerning the Jews.
The order was that the Jews had the right to protect themselves and destroy anyone whom dared assault them.
"The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. For Mordecai was great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent. Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, the slaughter of destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them." -Esther 9:2-5
To be clear, I am not comparing King Ahasuerus with God, nor what he did with what God did. However, what I see is that God first gave man the garden of Eden. Perfection. Perfect bodies, a perfect environment, a perfect purpose. Our enemies are not people, but our enemy is Evil. Evil thoughts, spirits, actions, hate, depression, lies, pride, gossip, envy, murder, etc. Evil entered in our lives and perfection became a memory.
What Jesus did by coming as a humble baby and becoming the sacrifice to end all sacrifices was not taking away the Evil at this time, but providing the means with which to fight against it, with the goal to be once more restored to perfection. And that should be our goal. Even though we will not see it come to complete fruition at this time because free will remains, I think we can do a lot better than we are doing.
"The Christians gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the world to destroy the Evil who sought their harm. And no Evil could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all Evil. And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Christians, because the fear of God fell upon them. For God's work was great in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for God's work became increasingly prominent. Thus the Christians defeated all their Evil enemies with the word of the Lord, the slaughter of destruction, and those who hated them had no effect on them."