The Sages tell us that in the future, after the Mashiach has come, all the festivals, including Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot (though commanded in Torah) will be nullified, and yet Purim (a minor festival not commanded in the Torah) will be forever celebrated. Various explanations of this statement have been adduced, one of which is not that these festivals will literally be annulled in the sense that they will cease to exist but in the sense that the light of a candle is not noticeable in the much brighter sunlight. So, too, it is suggested, the light elicited by the other festivals will pale in comparison with that elicited by Purim. The light of Purim is that of the final messianic redemption as it, perhaps more than any other festival, speaks into the Jewish experience that is predicted to come in the Last Days.
The story of Purim is one of inexplicable anti-Semitic hatred which is allowed to gather pace because of the indifference and willingness of the many to prosper from the misfortunes of the Jewish few. It is a story of near annihilation. It is even a story of God’s apparent silence in the face of such annihilation. In this story there are no partings of the Sea, no plagues or obvious miracles portending the coming redemption. Indeed, it is a story in which the wheels of life and of politics apparently move as normal towards a terrible end. For this reason the name of God isn’t even to be found in Megilat Ester. It is a story in which, when redemption finally comes for our people, it comes out of nowhere, arising from the courageous actions of a young Jewish girl who, like many Messianic Jews, was separated from and perhaps even disregarded by the wider community because she wasn’t exactly ‘one of them’ – she certainly wasn’t a Frummer! And yet, even though all this is true, it is clear to those with eyes to see that the redemption which comes in Megilat Ester from this unexpected source actually originates with Him. He is the force behind the scenes, pulling the strings and orchestrating the events such that the enemies of our people are in the end destroyed and our Jewish people are saved. Indeed, this is exactly how Hashem is working in our world today. If then the nations are gathering at least metaphorically if not in actuality against Jerusalem, and if hatred is arising against our Jewish people once again, then now as then, it is perhaps the pretext for their judgement and our people’s deliverance! As the prophet Zkharyah states, “When that day comes, I will seek to destroy all nations attacking Yerushalayim; and I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced.” In the end, just as in Megilat Ester, the enemies of our people shall experience God’s judgement and All Israel shall be saved! Indeed, redemption is presented to our people now as then from an unexpected and perhaps unwelcome source. Messianic Jews who point to Mashiach Yeshua as the one whom we have pierced are often disregarded by the wider community and yet, in fact, just like Ester, they have been raised up by Hashem ‘for such a time as this’.
The deliverance which we celebrate at Chag Purim has been observed for centuries and is still celebrated today. How much more then will the final Messianic redemption which Purim heralds be celebrated in the Messianic Age? Purim and the story which it tells is the ultimate Messianic festival. It shines like a beacon of hope in these difficult times as it reminds us that in the end God will win the victory and His people will be delivered!