When I was just a small child, I had a favorite big brother. He was great to me. He'd put his big arm around me and we'd go scampering down some cool dirt path. At times like this I felt ten feet tall. He didn't seem to mind me tagging along one bit, and there was nothing I liked better.
I was so proud of him! When I was with him I felt like I was beaming stronger than the sun. He was good at everything. I never could seem to match the mountains he made out of sand. Mine always seemed to crumble and sag, but his would stand as firm as the Rocky Mountains.
Dad always tried not to show how proud he was of him...him being the oldest and all, but his smile always seemed to be a bit brighter when my big brother came around.
I felt that my world had collapsed when he went on his mission. Dad and Mom both had to fight back the tears. He called Dad and Mom regularly and let us know how much he loved us. He even told us about how great his mission was, so Mom wouldn't worry.
The persecution was really bad there as the church was just getting started. But he never seemed to let himself get down, even though the people wouldn't believe his message. We'd all share in his joy when he'd get some new converts, but I don't mind saying that I was scared that the nonbelievers would do something to him.It even got to the point where men were plotting to take his life. But Dad never seemed to be worried for some reason.
Then one day we received word that his mission had ended, but not as most men's do. I was struck by the terrifying news.
They finally got hold of my brother. The big brother that I had played with. The one who never seemed capable of doing anything wrong. My big brother who loved everyone he knew, and who most everyone loved.
They beat him and mocked him. He suffered all they did to him without striking back. Why would anyone want to hurt my big brother? I couldn't understand.
A mob took him to a hill just outside of town, and spitting on him, they nailed him alive to a cross. My soul moaned as I heard that he begged father to forgive them. Racked with un bearable pain, he gave up his life for what he believed. My big brother, my king, my idol was dead. I cried though what seemed to be the darkest day of my life. Where was my big brother with whom I had shaped mountains of sand? why did he of all my brothers have to die like this?
Time passed and I was called on my mission. Sometimes I forget what happened so long ago, but every sunday a small piece of bread and a small cup of water remind me of what my big brother did for me and assures me that he yet lives.