The king of Persia had signed a document calling for the extermination of all Jewish people under his rule. When the Jewish captive Mordecai heard the news, he challenged his niece, the newly crowned queen Esther, to plead for the lives of her people.
To approach the king uninvited could bring a sentence of death. Yet, for the sake of God’s people, Esther took that risk.
During the 20th century, millions of Christians died as martyrs. This is a terrible tragedy, but we can take comfort in the knowledge that those who are killed for their devotion to Jesus die with the highest honor.
Corrie ten Boom’s father saw this truth clearly. During WWII, a Dutch clergyman refused shelter to a baby, saying, “We could lose our lives for that Jewish child.” Father ten Boom took the baby into his arms and said, “You say that we could lose our lives for this child. I would consider that the greatest honor that could come to my family.”
Most of us will never face a test like the ten Boom family and like Esther did. But all of us can take courage from their example. They knew that there is a fate worse than death.
To die for our service to God and our love for Him is indeed the greatest honor.
Life's labor done, as sinks the clay,
Light from its load the spirit flies,
While heaven and earth combine to say,
"How blest the righteous when he dies!" -Barbauld
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body." -Jesus