For seven high school students in the summer 2016 anime, Kiznaiver, the sharing of pain is quite literal. Bonded together by a symbol on their wrists through emerging medical technology, every instance of pain experienced by one person is equally split and shared with the rest of the group. This system, the Kinza System, was designed as an experiment to foster relationships between people of different personalities and allow them to connect on deeper levels. Kiznaiver has a colorful pallet of characters with major differences that test the strength of these bonds. “The cunning normal”, “high-and-mighty”, “goody-two-shoes”, and “eccentric headcase” are only to name a few and they must work out their exceeding differences and compromise solutions that would benefit the group.
However, these interactions aren’t held together by individual members, but rather the crimson-etched symbol that bonds them all as a whole. Without it, they would not be able to connect with each other. Looking at the premise of Kiznaiver, I find myself experiencing the Kinza System, but on a much deeper level than our protagonists. I would argue that Christians have the strongest bonds of any people and can share pain with each other unlike anyone else. Believers are bound together through Jesus Christ and their bonds extend not only emotionally, physically, and mentally, but also spiritually, one which ties the souls of people together with a deep connection.
Most people, when they hear “Christian”, think of peace and love hippies who attend church on Sundays and live their lives in blissful comfort. However, that misconception couldn’t be farther from the truth. Rather, it is nearly the opposite of what is actually true about believers. The Bible tells us that Jesus promised His disciples they would be hated by the world because they followed after Him. For every Christian, it is their calling to be set apart and share in the sufferings of Christ.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19, NKJV)
This calling isn’t something believers are content with doing safely. A duty of the Christian walk is being willing to lay down your life for the sake of the Gospel, which is a desire that will grow the more you get to personally know God. Yes, if persecution comes upon a believer and they are forced to give up their life, they will do it gladly with a smile. Death is not feared because heaven awaits believers, so they are able to give up everything. The Apostle Paul is the best example of someone who accepted persecution with open arms and gladly embraced torture because he loved Jesus Christ. In his second letter to the Corinthian church, Paul explains some of his sufferings to the congregation.
“From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?” (2 Corinthians 11:24-29, NKJV)
In addition, believers fight against their flesh or sin nature on a daily basis and spiritual crucify themselves, referencing the gruesome torture method used in the Roman Empire. This is a process that lasts a life time and is extremely painful, especially when someone desires so passionately to commit wrongdoing. Even to the point of completely denying one’s own thoughts and feelings, solely listening to the Holy Spirit, one must give up everything because of their great love for Jesus Christ.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26, NKJV)
All Christians share a common bond that connects them together as Kiznaivers through these kinds of pain and that tie is Jesus Christ. Noriko Sonozaki, the one who made the seven high schoolers into Kiznaivers, desired to create meaningful relationships with connecting pain, but Christians become spiritual brothers and sisters in the family of God by their sufferings, something much greater. This connection bonds the souls of believers together for eternity and could never be accomplished by Kinza System researchers.
Feeling the pain of others isn’t something that only exists within the world of Kiznaiver; believers also have the same ability. The suffering that Christians endure in their lifetime all comes from Satan. Because of this, every person of faith can empathize with another and understand what they are feeling since they all experience spiritual warfare from the same source. Christians have power because God lives inside of their hearts, but the fact that they are Kiznaivers and share pain with others who have the same bond also helps them to keep moving forward.
In addition, the Bible explains clearly that pain among believers should be distributed to other people of faith, similar to how a car crash in Kiznaiver would be split seven different ways rather than one. “Bearing one another’s burdens” is the Biblical equivalent and the Apostle Paul calls for Christians to take the anxiety, suffering, and hardship off their own, those who are Kiznaivers, because they are bonded together. Specifically, if Satan has caught someone in sin, believers will hold the weight of their pain for them and restore them to God.
Accepting hatred from the world, embracing persecution, and denying one’s own desires is the pain that Christians share with each other and is the most “going against the grain” lifestyle one can possibly take. They experience the greatest emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual hardship than anyone else and empathize as well as bear the burdens of each other. Christians are bonded together by Jesus Christ, the strongest link among people, and have proven many times over that they’ve earned the right to be called Kiznaivers.