"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem”
Okay, I know what you’re thinking…‘Did she fall asleep on her keyboard?’ and the answer is no, not this time.
This is actually a quote from Thomas Jefferson which translated into English says, “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
I have been praying over this devotional for a few days now and trying to find what I want to share with you guys, and the Lord keeps bringing one person to mind: Esther.
Esther would have boldly proclaimed Thomas Jefferson’s words: “I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” She was not one to sit by and let her people fall into the hands of one who would kill them.
Kill them? Okay, let me back up a little for you.
King Xerxes had a wife who wouldn’t do as he wanted her to do, so he decided to choose a new wife from the women of the land. Out of these women, he chose Esther. Now, Esther was a Jew, but she kept this a secret from King Xerxes. Later in the story, Haman, Xerxes’ right hand man, convinced King Xerxes to eradicate the Jews in the land for being different from them. Mordecai, Esther’s relative and one who adopted her when her parents died, informed Esther of Haman’s plot to kill the Jews and begged her to intercede on behalf of them.
A very important element of the story comes up here when Esther responds to Mordecai’s plea:
“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that he be put to death.” (Esther 4:11a)
Now, I want you to get this because this is the emphasis of the entire devotion and so important for us as women of God to understand!
It was utterly impossible for anyone, ANYONE, to approach the king’s throne. Not officials, not good people, not royalty, and especially not commoners, no one was allowed to approach him without being summoned. Now, the same is true for God. He is a holy God. It is completely against His nature to be found in the presence of sin. It follows then that He cannot possibly associate with sinners. We are darkness and those of you who have ever turned on a light in a dark room know that darkness cannot be in the presence of light. How much more can we not stand in the presence of God with the darkness of sin covering us?
But here’s the kicker!!
Right after Esther explains how no man may come into the presence of King Xerxes without being summoned, she adds:
“The only exception to this is for the king to extend the gold scepter to him and spare his life.” (Esther 4:11b)
Listen closely…lean into to your phone and read closely, friend because the next few words might just change your life (it changed mine).
Jesus Christ is the gold scepter.
‘What do you mean he’s the gold scepter? He’s God?’
You are exactly right, He is God. He came to the earth as fully God and fully man and died the death that man should have taken and rose again to be seated with God. He is perfect and was the perfect sacrifice. His blood covers over all of our sin and washes us clean. All of that darkness…all of the bad things you’ve done are completely covered. Did you get that? COMPLETELY COVERED.
“On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.” (Esther 5:1-2)
Did you catch that? Let me say it again…
“When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand.” (Esther 5:2)
He is pleased with you. He loves you. He has made the perfect atoning sacrifice for all of our sins through Jesus. He loves you so much that He is PLEASED to extend His scepter to you in the form of Christ!
And because He has made a perfect sacrifice for us, we too can stand before the King of kings in royal robes. Because He has extended Himself on the cross, stretched out and suffering our punishment, we have freedom!
Can I get a hallelujah?!
You might still be wondering, what does a queen from the Old Testament have anything to do with me?
Imagine yourself in her place, terrified by the fact that the king can order your death right then and there just for approaching him. Then suddenly, he extends his gold scepter to you and you are allowed to come to him with your pleas. You are Esther. My dear friend, that is a picture of our relationship with Christ, if we have one. From the Lord comes His perfect sacrifice for you. Out of His grace, He has called us near to Himself. He has clothed us in His majesty and strength so that we can approach his throne. We are His.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Father I thank You for Your mind-blowing, heart-breaking, and all-consuming love. I thank You King Jesus for Your perfect sacrifice that took away all of my sin. I thank You for the price You paid to bring me near. Father, I don’t understand Your love and amazing grace, but I thank You for it! I thank You for the fact that, just like Esther was able to come into Xerxes’ presence because of his golden scepter, Your sacrifice allows me to come to You even now. Lord help me to always approach Your throne of grace with confidence that I may receive the mercy and grace that I need. May we prefer your freedom over the slavery this world gives us. Lord You know every part of my life and You still want to have a personal relationship with me. Right now, I carry my heart to Your throne and give You all I am because You gave all that You are for me. I thank You that You died for me so I can live for You. Help me to do just that and help me to live confidently in Your grace and love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.