One of the worst places to be stuck in our spiritual walk is in a rut. Like most long-term relationships, it is easy to lose the wonder you first had upon meeting and falling in love with Jesus. But with a God who is infinitely wonderful and mysterious, there is no shortage of paths to rekindling our amazement. Like a diamond cut with hundreds of facets, we only need to pivot our perspective ever so slightly to see our relationship with him in a new light and with a new brilliance.
In the recent week, my quiet times have focused on this idea; and, He has talked with me at length about the ways I relate to Him best and the roles with which I struggle. I have been surprised to realize there aren’t too many ways I feel comfortable relating to Christ. Obviously, I see Him as my Savior, but there are so many ways to connect with Him: as a sister, bride, friend, soldier, and daughter, just to name a few. So why do we get stuck connecting with Him in just one or two ways? What intimacy could we be missing when we neglect the other relational facets available to us?
This is precisely the question I aim to answer over the next few weeks as I explore these various roles. My prayer is that after some consideration and contemplation we can see the richness of Christ and His love for us in a brand new light. May it be so, King Jesus.
What it Means to Be a Sister to Christ
If you have spent any time in the church, chances are you’ve heard the term “brothers and sisters in Christ”. We are fairly comfortable seeing one another as family and often talk in such terms. However, we are less likely to hear about being brothers and sisters to Christ; though, this is exactly what Scripture says we are: co-heirs with Christ, adopted siblings to the God’s firstborn Son!
As I’m sure I do not have to tell you, sibling relationships are complicated. Our brothers and sisters can be our best friends and arch-nemeses within the same breath. While many of us are close to our siblings and share a special bond, just as many have difficult relationships with our siblings, filled with heartache and even estrangement.
Just as having a broken relationship with your Earthly father can impact how you connect with God as Father, having a broken relationship with our siblings can impact how we view Christ as our brother. My prayer, however, is that in Christ, we can see that relationship as it ought to be- free from sin. I pray that if you struggle to relate to Christ as your brother, He might use this time to give you new eyes to see just how incredible this relational facet can be.
He Gives Us a Pattern to Follow
I grew up with one older brother, and while we rarely got along as children, in my eyes, he could do no wrong. I wanted to be just like him. If he liked a band, I listened to it. If he thought something was lame, I avoided it. As an adult on a Friday night, he would often enjoy a beer and smoke a cigar so guess what I did… He later went to seminary, and that has been on my to-do list ever since.
To say I watched my brother closely would be an understatement. Perhaps that is why now, as a parent, I spend so much time talking with my oldest about setting a good example for her little brother. At just eighteen months old, he is already copying her every move, determined to be just like his big sister.
I cannot imagine this mimicry is happenstance. I believe this is how God designed sibling relationships, as an example of how we are to view and follow our big brother, Jesus. As younger brothers and sisters to Christ, He sets our example. Throughout Scripture, He shows us how to serve others, how to love our Father, how to pray, how to suffer, and how to walk through this life with integrity and hope. We can garner our likes and dislikes from His example. Observing Him through scripture, we can pattern our lives after His.
His life, of course, is one of complete obedience to our Father. Over and over again, we see this in Scripture. He says and does nothing apart from what the Father gives Him to say and do (Jn 12:49). In Mark, He explains that His brothers and sisters are those that obey the will of His Father (Mark 3:35). This is what it means to be sisters to Christ- to love and obey our God just as our older brother.
He Gives us Comfort
There’s obviously a lot to love about Christ, but one of the first things that captured my heart about Him is that he knows what it is to be human. In an act of incredible humility, Christ chose to become one of his own creations- clothed in flesh, subject to fear, hunger, exhaustion, sickness, and pain. He did this not just to save us, but to relate to us (Heb 4:15). He knows exactly what we are going through and having been there, he can walk with us through it all.
And we will walk through it all: good times and bad. In fact, as sisters to Christ, we are not only co-heirs to His inheritance (which is an incredible reality) but we are also, co-sufferers (Rom 8:17). Just as in our earthly families, when one member suffers, we all bear the burden. We are not exempt from Christ’s suffering, but we are also not alone in it. While Christ was forsaken on the cross, we are never alone- not for a moment. Christ is always there, bearing our burden, with every step he says, “I know. I know how hard this is” He shows us how to cry out to God when the pain is too great, and how to submit to His will when it doesn’t make sense.
He Gives Us a Family
One of the common family stories told around our table growing up was how my brother famously asked my mother to please take me back to the hospital, a few weeks after I had been born. I imagine he wasn’t too thrilled to be sharing our parents’ love and attention after having exclusive rights to them for nearly three years.
Christ, of course, behaves a bit differently as an older brother. Not only did he personally pave the way for our adoption, paying with his own life, but He joyously welcomes us to His family, preparing a place for us. Despite existing in perfect love and union, the Holy Trinity chose to create, pursue and adopt us as children. As adopted sons and daughters, we do not sit on the outside of a happy family, left to look in and pine for connection; rather, we are ushered into the center of their love and treated as one who belongs. We complete a family that didn’t need us but desperately wanted us. What a powerful truth to walk in!
My Prayer for You This Week
It may seem like a slight shift for you to think of Christ as a brother, but seeing Him in this light illuminates the ways in which we can observe Him as an example, and count on His as a comfort in difficult times. He teaches us what it means to be a part of God’s family, calling us to the same standard of obedience with which He lived His life. I pray that this week, you would talk to Christ as your brother. Observe Him in Scripture and seek to live out what you see. My prayer is for us all to be adoring younger sisters, anxious to be just like our brother, Jesus Christ.
What are your thoughts on viewing Christ as your brother? Does it feel like a stretch? Do you already relate to Christ in this way? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!