Daily Radio Bible Podcast
CLOSER THAN A BROTHER
Today’s readings are Jeremiah 3 – 4 and John 11. We are reading from the New Living Translation.
Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” (Jn 11:16 NLT)
The Twin wants to die. He wants to lay down his life with Jesus, someone he loves like a brother. He doesn’t want to diefor Jesus, rather, he just wants to die with Him. But Thomas, the twin, doesn’t understand yet, that it’s going to take Someone else’s death, and resurrection, for him to see, understand, and really experience resurrection life himself. For Thomas it’s going to take more, even more than seeing Lazarus die and rise from the dead. He would need to see Jesus, himself, die and rise again, before he would believe and experience the life that he wanted.
What Thomas learned was what we must all see and learn that we cannot, by our own good intentions, arrive at the place that we need to be. Thomas was full of good intentions and brave declarations of loyalty – “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.” But Thomas had to learn that all the virtue and promises, and what we think we ourselves can bring, cannot overcome the reality of our own brokenness, the four-day smell of the flesh, and the certain reality of the grave.
What we need is a better twin than Thomas. We need Someone who can do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves.We need a twin who will triumph over death by actually dying for us, thereby reconciling us to God, on a cross. And we need Someone who has emerged from the tomb, and saved us with his life – for our here and now. That’s what Thomas would eventually get and what we need to understand. He didn’t see it at first, but soon he would see and believe that his Friend, Jesus, would stick closer than a brother, even closer than a twin. And that Brother would make a way for him, and us, and for all who believe, to come out of the grave, and be freed from the grave clothes of past shame, regret, fears, and doubts.
This Brother of ours calls us by name, to come out from the grave. He sets us free into life – never to die again. Though Thomas wanted to die he would soon learn that his Brother, Jesus, had died for him, so that he might live.
Jesus is closer than a brother – even a twin. He has called you by name, to rise from the grave. He has thrown off your grave clothes so that you can move forward in this life with hope, joy, strength, and life.
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