Salvation loses its punch if our enemy still is lurking around. Haman was the embodiment of sin and evil. And he met his death on a gallows – or maybe more literally, “a wooden beam.”
The gospel message is embedded in Esther 7. Jesus took our sins, our debts, and our inability to keep God’s law and, “This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Haman found himself ushered to a wooden beam and executed.
The Jewish people living in exile in the Perisan empire were freed from their enemy – the one who sought to destroy, kill, and annihilate them, as Esther boldly told King Ahasuerus. The danger passed away. And remember, it was the plot of Haman to kill a good Jew on that gallows. But God loves to turn things around and to work great reversals. It was Haman who met his end there.
The cross was supposed to be the end of Jesus Christ. That’s how the world would have had it. And that’s how Satan would have had it. At the end of the day, the cross wasn’t the end of Christ. It is the end of sin and death. The Book of Esther gives us a hint of this. The gospel appears in the Old Testament.
The death of Haman came after the request of Esther. She fully identified with her Jewish heritage. She finally revealed herself to the Persian king and to all who were within earshot that she was a Jew. And she asked for life, both for herself and her people.
Humans cling to life. We look for ways to preserve our lives – to make them last longer. Inherently, we want freedom from death. Esther sought that freedom. She is a Christ figure in the Old Testament, orchestrating salvation for God’s people.
I couldn’t help but think of blind Bartimaeus as I read this chapter. You remember Bartimaeus on the road near Jericho crying out to Jesus for mercy. And Jesus called out to Bartimaeus and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). We discussed this story not long ago as a church in the context of prayer – praying to Jesus Christ for the desires of our hearts. It is what Jesus invited us to do (John 15:7).
King Ahasuerus repeatedly asked Esther what she wanted him to do for her. This pagan king, who clearly was driven by pride and sex, was willing to grant his queen virtually anything she asked. We have a much more powerful, gracious, and loving King. And he desires to give good gifts to his children.
And the ultimate gift is life itself – the same kind of life for which Esther asked. She asked for freedom from death and freedom from fear. And the enemy of the people met his end as a result.