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I don’t speak about him as often as I should. He casts a big shadow, and most of the time, I’d rather just hide there, ducking away from daylight. But he doesn’t want that. He’s never wanted that. So, let me tell you about my elder brother.

He’s kind. Once he shamed his friends for calling out a pauper with perfume. She broke the flask and poured it on his oiled hair, while they winced and whined at the waste. But my brother saw her. He saw her well. She wasn’t wasting nard; she was crowning nobility. He told his friends to close their mouths while he opened his to etch her memory in eternity. My brother was never embarrassed to be kind. (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37)

He’s brave. I panic at pain. I tuck tail and run. But he walked right into it. Thin thorns and thick whips, potsherds and puncture wounds. But he didn’t just take the hits. He gave himself to the pain. He met it with palms open. His bravery had no boundaries.

He’s loyal. There was only ever one to whom he gave full allegiance. He talked about his dad’s will (John 6:38)—spoke of it like a song he could never stop humming. All throughout the day and during the night, he was loyal as a lion. Strong. Committed. Unswerving. You don’t find loyalty like that these days.

He’s loving. If love’s a currency, he spends it all—shekel after shekel, pound after pound. He spends himself. He isn’t frugal. He’s fanatical. He’s prodigal. No man ever loved so hard on people who resisted so much. But that’s just who he is (1 John 4:8).

He died. Most people have heard, many more have forgotten—he passed away some years ago. There are naysayers out there. Doubters. They don’t think he died the way you read about. But I trust him. I know he did, because nothing could be more poetic and beautiful than the truth. And the truth is made from wood and nails. He left the land of the living.

He’s alive. But my favorite thing about my brother is what he did after that. They put his body in a cold cavern. He laid in darkness and silence, against the dark and silent stone. But his bones moved again. The breath of life sang through his lungs and set his heart drumming to the beat of eternity. He came back.

There’s so much more to say. But that’s my elder brother. I wonder if you’ve met him yet (Heb. 2:11; Rom. 8:29; Mark 3:34-35).

We search for God in the grand and spectacular, but he’s always right in front of us, and right beside. Jesus is our elder brother. An ordinary phrase for an extraordinary truth. There are lots of those. Here are some other extraordinary ordinaries.


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