The Elder Brother

Romans 8:1-2 (NAS)
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

My childhood memories swarm with dozens of stories I was not a part of—adventures from my three older brothers. Of all the stories they shared, one in particular stands out.

As I understand it, my brothers were nine-, seven- and five-years-old. Our father just bought a new Ford. On a crisp fall afternoon Freddy, the youngest of the three, just could not resist the urge to scribbled on the shiny new surface of Dad’s car with a rock. While the others watched in terror, the deed was accomplished. Once the vandalism started, Ronnie could not help but join in the fun. Not wanting to be involved, Wayne—the eldest—ran inside. An hour later, Dad came home to find the damage.

Our father managed to control himself and ask who had defiled his vehicle. No one answered. “I know it’s one of you. I’m very disappointed in whoever did this. One of you is going to fess up. Who is going to step forward?”

Not a sound, only the birds chirping outs ide.

“All right then, all three of you will get spanked.”

“Wait!” Wayne cried. He stepped forward. “I’m sorry, Daddy.”

The other boys looked on in disbelief. He was taking the fall for them.

Wayne peeked at his little brothers as he was lead to his sentence. Unable to return the glance, they stared forward, and shuffled outside. Looking at the ground from the steps on the front porch, they listened to the wails of their elder brother. If before today they had not understood the message of the Cross, surely they did now. The sacrifice of the innocent one saved the guilty.

Lord help us never forget the price our elder brother Jesus paid to save us from our sentence. We were the guilty who have been pardoned because of what His sacrifice.

By Tez Brooks