Post by: Leea Collard
My name is Leea Collard, and I am a rising second-year law student at Regent University School of Law. This summer, I had the privilege of serving as a legal intern with the Jerusalem Institute of Justice (“JIJ”). JIJ is a non-governmental, apolitical organization in Jerusalem, Israel, designed to understand the burdens of humanity and advocate on behalf of people in need. JIJ’s goal is to safeguard the legitimate standing of Israel among the Nations and uphold human rights in the Middle East.
At the time of this writing, it is 9:19 AM on Friday, August 6, 2021. Just hours ago, 19 rockets were fired by Hezbollah, a terrorist group located in Lebanon, into Israel. Luckily, no one was hurt. Three months ago, Israel and Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, were engaged in a fierce conflict that made the world hold its breath. As I watch Israel face rocket attack after rocket attack, I am reminded of two women in the Bible who put their lives on the line so that Israel and its people might live. These women are none other than Esther and Procula, Pilate’s Wife.
Esther was the wife of King Xerxes of Persia, also known as King Ahasuerus, who battled the Greeks at the Battle of Thermopylae. Stated simply, Esther was a Jewish girl who had essentially won a contest to marry King Xerxes. Upon their marriage, Esther learned that the King had signed a decree to annihilate the Jewish people throughout the Persian territory. Upon being made aware of the genocide that would soon befall her people, Esther came before her husband to advocate for the Jews. Uninvited to the throne room, Esther’s actions could have led to her death. However, King Xerxes listened to Esther and spared the Jewish people.
Procula was the wife of Pontius Pilate. Pilate was a Roman governor and served as the judge of Jesus’s trial. Procula came to Pilate and told him about a dream she had. As seen in Matthew 27:19, though Procula did not know her dream was about Jesus, she begged her husband to spare the life of who she called the “innocent man.” Ultimately, Pilate washed his hands to symbolically rid himself of the responsibility of Jesus’s death and then proceeded to order Jesus’s crucifixion–ignoring his wife’s words.
Ultimately, Esther and Procula advocated for the Jewish people with their lives. They called out injustice. Esther saw the immediate benefit of her action–the genocide did not occur, and the Jews were allowed to continue living peaceably in Persia. Procula, however, did not see the immediate benefit of her action. Ultimately, Procula’s failure to spare Jesus from crucifixion led to salvation through Jesus for all mankind.
As Christians, I pray that we have a passion like Esther and Procula to pray for the Jewish people and advocate for Israel when it faces grave injustices. Psalm 122:6 states, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. ‘May they be secure who love you!’.” While Israel must also answer for the wrongdoings it has committed against its neighbor; it is ultimately God who is the Perfect Judge of Israel.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.