The Third Day Series: Part 5 – Esther

We previously established our method for identifying types of the third day resurrection:

  1. We read an Old Testament passage with a keyword such as “third day” or “three days”.
  2. We stop, knowing that such a keyword may be pointing to a prophetic foreshadow of Christ’s resurrection.
  3. We examine the passage and see if it qualifies as a type.

Applying this method when reading through Scripture, we would stop at a certain point in the book of Esther. The summary of Esther’s story is that she was a Jew who ascended to the position of queen of Persia, by God’s providence. When a plot to kill the Jews came to her knowledge, she was in a position as queen to approach the king, foil the plot, save her people, and keep the Messianic hope alive.

Even though she was queen, it was not without risk that she approached the king to try to save her people, for the custom of the land was that the king was never approached without him first summoning the person who approached. Here is what Esther said about the custom:

“All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.” Esther 4: 11

Despite the law, Esther decided to risk her own life and approach the king without a summons, to try to save the Jews. But, before she approached the king, she requested a fast of the Jews.

“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4: 16

After this fast, she approached the king.

“Now it came about on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace in front of the king’s rooms, and the king was sitting on his royal throne in the throne room, opposite the entrance to the palace. When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther came near and touched the top of the scepter. Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be given to you.” Esther 5: 1 – 3

Those familiar with the story know that Esther was able to successfully arrange for the preservation of her people, by making the king aware of Haman’s plot. As we ponder these events in Esther’s life, the three day fast and her third day audience with the king, we can draw parallels between her account and that of Christ’s resurrection.

Event in Esther New Testament Parallel
Haman plotted to kill the Jews Satan plotted to kill all humanity by successfully tempting Adam and Eve to sin
The plot became known to Esther God knew that Adam and Eve sinned against Him and that all humanity had now become condemned
Esther, as queen, was in a position to intercede on behalf of her people Christ, as Son of God and the Messianic King, was in a position to intercede on behalf of His people
For three days, there was mystery as to whether Esther would be killed or granted life by the king For three days, there was mystery as to whether Christ would rise from the dead
On the third day, the king granted Esther life On the third day, Christ was raised from the dead
Because of the third day, Esther successfully interceded for her people Because of the third day, Christ successfully interceded for His people

Just like the account of Elijah and Elisha that we previously looked at, these parallels are sufficient to conclude that the account of Esther and the three day fast are a type of Christ’s third day resurrection. This places Esther on our growing list of major Old Testament figures who were involved in a spectacular circumstance involving a three day span of time.

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