What Kind Of Friend Is Jesus?
The whole world owes a debt of thankfulness to God for all that He has done for us through His Son Jesus. We have a future and a hope because Jesus was not just God but also wanted to be and became our friend.
When Christians think of out relationship with Jesus we most usually think of him as our Saviour since we recognise our life would otherwise end in death and Jesus died to give us the opportunity to live forever with Him.
But, Jesus also told us to think of Him as our friend because He opens up Himself to us and relates to us as friends even though He is our God! In the book of John, Chapter 15 and verses 10-15 we read this...
John 15:10-15 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Jesus is the ultimate friend who gave up His life for us. But, what is a friend.
I once heard someone describe a friend in these terms.
"A friend is someone who will stick with you through any problem. A good friend is someone who will remove the evidence!"
It's an amusing concept but could also be said to have some insight when we consider what Jesus has done for us. Let me explain...
Have you ever seen one of those films where some people rob a bank and find that it's not just ordinary customers and businesses who are using the bank but that the Mafia controlled it and their money was in the bank also? As a result it's not just the Law but the Mafia also who are looking for them!
Well we were sinners and had the Written Law and the Maffia or Satan both wanting to see us dead. The penalty for breaking the law or sin is death and Satan comes only to 'steal, kill and destroy'. And with both these against us we had no power to get ourselves out of this mess. We didn't just need a friend, we needed a good friend!
It should not have escaped any Christian's notice that this was our situation until we were informed that Jesus had died on the cross for us and taken away or removed our sins and we only had to accept him as 'Lord' and 'Saviour' and 'Friend'.
Then we would receive His help and be given 'eternal redemption'! We had to believe on Jesus in other words; believe He was the kind of friend who had given up His life for US! Romans 5:8 says...
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
That's just one of the scriptures that show what a 'good' friend Jesus is. The earlier scripture told us that, "Greater love has no man than that he will give up his life for a friend". Jesus gave up his life for all mankind to reconcile us to God and give us eternal redemption through belief in Him.
That solved part of our dilemma and we should be forever thankful for the love Jesus expressed for us in this way. But that's not all that He did! Jesus also took care of the other part we could not do - how to live righteously now and into the future.
On accepting Jesus' sacrifice for our sins and believing on Him we were also cloaked with His righteousness. This was prophesied in the Old Testament by Isaiah. In Chapter 61, v 10, we read...
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Now we are hidden in Christ. He has put us in a 'safe house' (His body) where the Law and Satan no longer have power over us. Notice what Paul tells us in the book of Romans.
Romans 6:14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
And James tells us this in his book...
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Those scriptures describe in a nutshell that sin and Satan have been dealt with, so that we can have new life when we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and Friend and are living under grace and by faith in Jesus.
Do you remember that the bible tells us in Ephesians that we are saved by grace through faith?
Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
We can live an ongoing life of overcoming if we live by faith. The faith of and in our wonderful friend Jesus!
You see a good friend will also be there to help you in the normal day-to-day run of things; and Jesus is 'there' for us in our walk with God after we are rescued/redeemed.
So we have a safe house to be in, the body of Jesus, which is the Church and grace enabling us to live righteous lives now. In the letter to Titus we read...
Titus 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age....
Thus in this life we can live uprightly and grow from faith to faith and glory to glory as we look to Jesus; the author and finisher of our faith. He will empower us to live righteously as long as we submit to be guided by Him through Holy Spirit in us.
We live by Grace through faith. The grace of our Lord Jesus and through 'His' faith as a gift.
So, let us rest from our failed efforts and live through our friend Jesus. What a 'good' friend He is!