Why Purim Is Significant to Christians
Paul tells us through the Christians at Corinth that what we see with the eye and what is really happening are two different things. “Things are not what they would seem” is a central theme in the Book of Esther. The events of Esther do not have the same meaning or importance in the Christian calendar as they do in the Jewish faith's observance of Purim. Christians can become more knowledgeable when it comes to God’s plan of redemption by familiarizing themselves with the holiday.
What is Purim?
Purim is the Biblical holiday that was initiated by and commemorates the events in the book of Esther. It comes in the last month of the Hebrew calendar and bears a resemblance to Halloween without individuals donning costumes. They also attend synagogue for an “all-in” reading of Megilat Esther (the Scroll of Esther) found in the Bible.
Why Should Christians Celebrate Purim?
Christians should celebrate the fact that the Jews were saved because they were God’s chosen people and from the lineage of their King David came the savior of the Jews and Gentiles: Jesus Christ.
Christianity was initially considered a sect of Judaism until it grew in numbers and became its own branch of religions. In addition, Jesus grew up as a Jew and learned Jewish teachings. He went against many of those teachings with his own pronouncements about God and salvation.
There is a growing desire among Christians to once again integrate the Biblical festivals into their religion. Although Purim is not Biblically-mandated like Passover, Sukkot or Yom Kippur, it is founded on Biblical events and is the only festival that that is based on an entire book of the Bible (Esther). That makes Purim relevant for anyone who lives their life according to the Word of God.
Christians can celebrate Purim as a means to repent for the actions of the church fathers toward the Jews. The prophet Daniel is a model for this repentance. When Daniel knew that the 70 years of exile for Judah were coming.
How Purim relates to Christians
First and foremost, Purim is a story of God's faithfulness. The Book of Esther recounts His faithfulness to the children of Israel when they are threatened by the second most powerful man in the ancient Persian Empire—Haman. The lesson is simple. God is faithful to all His.
It also is about God turning bad situations into blessings. Because of the Jewish people's faithful prayers and fasting, Queen Esther is given the courage to intervene with the king and disclose Haman's plans to wipe out the Jews. In a declaration, the king gives the Jews the right to defend themselves and rob their attackers.
In spite of relying on divine leadership and strength, God isn't mentioned once in the Book of Esther. This reminds many of us that faith in God has nothing to do with religion as much as it is a personal devotion to the Lord that should so infiltrate every part of our lives. Esther and Mordechai didn't need to openly announce that they were depending on God. Doing so was so much a part of who they were that it would have been obvious to those who knew them.
In Israel, Purim is marked by dressing up in costumes, a universal symbol of merrymaking, and holding grand parties. While not the biggest or most important of Israel's holidays, it is without question the festival that is most noticeable and accompanied by the most public merriment.