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Closer than….

A brother!

When I was a young girl I always wanted a brother.

 “A brother? Really?”

Really. Someone there to wrestle with and climb trees with. Ya’know someone to pick on me, pick their nose at the dinner table then proceed to tell me how my girlyness is disgusting.

Call me sadistic but I didn’t want to company of another Barbie, pony or even a substitution for my chipped front tooth. I wanted a brother. To make a long story short I’ll tell you what happened: my parents never got around to it.

 “Did you ever get over it?”

“Mmmmm; maybe.”

 When I started following Christ with all my heart I realized that I have been adopted into a family where the Father is perfect and the Son is just as wonderful.

Jesus and I spend quality time with each other first thing each morning. That hour is the best of my day. In it he fills my heart with a fulfillment and love that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.

This morning our time together was particularly fantastic and especially heart wrenching. After we discussed life-circumstances, big decisions and the joy of knowing each other he handed me a wonderful gift. It was a picturesque reminder of what He has done for me. He brought to mind the love He has poured and continues to pour out on me.

Truth be told, my big brother allowed his last breath and final utterance to be about the love he has for me.

“Kalah,” he said. It is finished. I felt the warm of his breath on my heart, “Every shameful thing you have ever taken part of, every lie you’ve ever told, any wrong thought you’ve ever entertained. They all have one thing in common Katie. They are all finished. They have been taken care of at the expense of my blood.”

 “…any wrong thought you’ve ever entertained.”

At this realization I started to feel tears well in my eyes and run down my face. He gently closed his large hand over mine and proceeded to take me on a journey. Up the dusty road to Golgotha we walked. It wasn’t long before I felt a change in the air and began to hear the faint taunts and distant laughter. I squeezed his hand more tightly as the startling crack of a whip sounded to my left. I glanced at Jesus. Something had changed. He was drenched. Sweat and blood from my big brother’s mangled body dripped onto the ground beneath us. I looked up and gasped. For there was a huge, slivered cross digging into the tanned skin of his back. It seemed as though almost instantly a large crowd surrounded us. That crowd seemed to be multiplying by the second. I felt myself gasping for air.

Where had they come from? And why were they staring at him with eyes so full of malice? What did he ever do to them? I began to shout at them.

“Get away!” My strained voice dissolved into their increasingly loud cries for justice. Justice? They wanted justice? One of the crowd stomped on his blood soaked foot; he fell to his knees and I screamed as our tight grasp was ripped apart.

The surging crowd had become a violent, mocking multitude. Their bodies pushed, pulled and shoved me away from Jesus. Still stunned, I managed to unearth their sharp fingernails from the flesh of my arms, regain ground and start running after my brother. I could hear him cry out. A wave of nausea gripped my gut as I caught a glimpse of his face through the bodies. His unrecognizable likeness wore an expression of pain but in the one eye that wasn’t swollen shut I saw what I knew belonged to my brother. Love. He is love.

With that look, love glanced at the crowd then at the path before him; a steely look of determination hardening his features. That’s the Jesus I know.

His mission was our freedom. His pained, raspy whisper told me so.

“Our freedom?” I questioned.

“The freedom of our brothers and sisters.” He answered.

“Please don’t… Yeshua.”

“I have to Katie.”

With one last exchange of our eyes I watched him climb closer to the place where they would mercilessly execute him. I knew that with each step he was contemplating the sacrifice and intense pain he would be feeling. He thought about how each strip of flesh ripped from His skin would earn the cleansing of our sin. Like a true man he thought about his mission.

“Like a true man he thought about his mission.”

I desperately wanted to see those eyes one last time. But the punching, shoving, cursing crowd closed in around him. I sank to the dirt and buried my tear stained face in my hands as they put my big brother to death.

Thank God this isn’t the end of the story.

But for now I sit and contemplate the most valuable gift given by the most amazing sibling to ever exist.

 

Isaiah 53:5- But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

 siblings

 

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