March 21, 2024

Jesus Dies for His Friends

John 15:9-17

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

—  John 15:13

In our Scripture reading for today we see that Jesus calls his disciples “friends.” Friendship is based on mutual love. A friend is someone you can talk with about anything. A friend is someone whom you look forward to seeing. A friend is someone you care about.

Jesus is the best friend you and I have ever had. He laid down his life for us so that we could be freed from the curse of sin and death and receive new life with God. Jesus proved the extent of his love for us when he died in our place.

There may have been some people in human history who willingly died for someone else. But no one besides Jesus could possibly trade his life for the lives of millions and millions of his friends.

An old hymn says, “What a friend we have in Jesus!” Jesus is indeed our friend, and, amazingly, he sees us as his friends! He is our lifelong friend whom we can talk to about anything. He loves to hang around with us. He cares about us.

What is the result of this beautiful friendship? Joy! Jesus takes joy in us, his friends, and we take joy in him.

Lord Jesus, we enjoy your friendship. We know that becoming our friend cost you dearly. Thank you for paying that price and for truly being our best friend forever. Amen.

About the author — Kent Van Til

Kent Van Til was a missionary in Costa Rica. He taught theological ethics both there and in the USA. He is the author of four books. The most recent is a spiritual biography of his grandmother entitled, "A Name for Herself: A Dutch Immigrant's Story." Kent likes to fish, hunt, make music, and entertain his grandchildren.

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