I was sitting in IMCU with my grandson, Ethan. It had been two hours since his terrifying ordeal of being violently sucked into the storm water drainage system off Remington Ave. His traverse through the concrete system had produced bloody, ripped clothes and multiple scrapes and bruises all over his twelve year old body. He looked beautiful to me because he was alive.
I sat in amazement as he rehearsed the thoughts he felt as he traveled through the darkness of an unknown terror. His peace and soundness of mind caught my attention. I was overwhelmingly aware that this was a miracle. No person could have orchestrated the events that save his life. The desperate prayers of a community of believers locally and nationwide had prevailed.
About thirty minutes into our visit, his two siblings appeared to tell him goodnight. They would soon be in my care while his parents spent the night with him, watching and praying for no broken bones, no concussion, and no infiltrates in his lungs and no terrifying dreams. He smiled at the site of his seven year old brother, Isaac and his eight year old sister, Eva. They had witnessed the entire event and had watched as their parents and all the rescue team diligently searched the manholes and rapidly moving creek for their brother. Quiet thankfulness circled the siblings and the bond of love and family was evident.
I heard Ethan speak directly to Eva and Isaac. “I’m glad it was me and not you”. He continued to explain that his experience in the water and his physical strength had helped him in a way that would have been missing in their younger, less mature bodies. While it was not an experience he wanted to repeat, it was certainly not an experience he wanted for Eva and Isaac! They looked in awe at an older brother who loved them so much.
As I watched and listened, I realized if we could have visited the Lord Jesus Christ after his ordeal of the crucifixion, he would have said to us, “I’m glad it was me and not you”. His bloody clothes, his lacerated body and the terror he felt on the cross and in the grave was experienced by him for us so that we would not have to go through it. How blessed we are to have a “big brother” who experienced death so that we could live.
Romans 8:29 MSG says,“ For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.”
Romans 5:8 says, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
I challenge you to join me as we look in awe at the older brother, Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us that we might become the righteousness of God.