"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16).
The story of Esther is an example of selflessness. Esther was a Jew who became the queen of Persia through God's providence. Because Mordecai who was a Jew refused to bow down to Haman, an official of the king, Haman was able to convince Ahasuerus, the king of the Persian Empire to write and seal a law that was to annihilate all the Jews in the empire by a certain date. Mordecai ensured that this perplexing news was brought before queen Esther, who was also a Jew (Esther 3 and 4)
When Esther heard the troubling news, she did not think only about herself. She thought about the welfare of the people. Esther bid Mordecai to do the following: "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish" (Esther 4:16).
Esther's act of selflessness is just a miniature of the selfless nature of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Concerning Christ, we read the following:
"5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Friends, in this text is found the greatest example of selflessness. As God's children, the Lord expects us to follow the supreme example of Christ's selfless nature. Just like queen Esther, there will come periods in our life where we must be totally selfless to be able to carry forward the gospel mandate that Christ has given to us. There will come periods in our Christian walk where we will have to forgo our food to feed the hungry, forgo our clothes to clothe the naked, forgo our schedules to spend time with the sorrowing and troubled, and forgo our money so the gospel can reach the world. It is my prayer that the Lord will give us the strength to imitate the selfless nature of Christ.