The Friendship of Christ

by | Jan 6, 2010 | Spirit-Led Living

The sweetest bliss of rational beings comes from
friendship. Nothing can take its place. Without it, all things else
leave in us an aching void. We must both love and be loved, or be

Friendship implies two or more persons, and love on both
sides. There may be love without friendship, but there can be no
friendship without love. There must be reciprocity of affection.

Hence, whatever may be the love of Christ toward us,
unless we also love Him, there is no friendship between Him and us. The
Sun of righteousness shines upon us, but we walk blinded in darkness;
He diffuses warmth, but we do not feel it; He graciously deigns to
bless us, but we still go unblessed.

But when we through grace open our hearts to Him, give
back the generous flame, and thus become partakers of His love, then
are we cordially embraced in His glorious and eternal friendship. Its
distinguishing characteristics are included in the following

The friendship of Christ is purely spontaneous. It
springs up unsolicited from the depths of His generous heart, as the
crystal water gushes up from its fountain. It is not the affection of
consanguinity, nor the result of early intimacy; much less does Christ
love us, because we first loved Him.

It is exactly the other way! We love Him because He first
loved us. Nor did He see anything lovely in us to engage His affection.
He found our hearts selfish, cold, dead in sin. He loved us while we
were yet enemies.

And why did He thus love us? The only answer is, because
of the pure, spontaneous benevolence of His heart. God is love, and
Christ is God manifest in the flesh.

“I delight to do thy will,” He says, “…yea, thy law is
within my heart” (Ps. 40:8, KJV). It is hence a pure spontaneity of His
heart to lift up the fallen, heal the broken, pardon the guilty, save
the lost and gather them all into the fold of His grace. There is no
other love like this.

The friendship of Christ is wholly unselfish.
Human friendships are, to a great extent, bought and sold for value
received. But no mercenary motive stains the luster of Christ’s
friendship. He is infinitely above all need of any favors from us, and
it is equally above our power to make any adequate returns for His

Because He has felt from eternity in His divine nature an
unceasing love toward us, it has been with the knowledge that for this
we could never repay Him and that all His reward must be in His own
bosom. Behold, what manner of love is this!

The friendship of Christ is surpassingly self-sacrificing.
It cost Him an amazing price. What love must that be, that made Him
willing to dishonor the glories of His Godhead, take upon Him the guilt
and sorrows of humanity, endure the scorn and malice of wicked men and
devils, and finally die the shameful and agonizing death of the cross,
all to save us from our sins!

It is common to estimate friendship by the sacrifice it
makes for its object. If we thus estimate the friendship of Christ, it
transcends all thought. Indeed, it often seems to us more like romance
than reality, and it is only as we think of Him in His divine nature
that we can accept the record of His sacrifice for us as literally
true. Yet here is no romance nor bold figure, but a stupendous fact,
into which the angels desire to look.

The friendship of Christ is unchanging. He often
rebukes and chastens us, but He loves us still. We sometimes forget
Him, but He never forgets us. We turn away from Him, but He never turns
away from us. We grow cold in our affection, but His affection for us
is ever the same bright flame.

We have our days of sunshine, when we seem to walk in
high places, regaling amid the sweets and flowers of paradise; and our
days of darkness, when we seem to dwell in the lowest depths and eat
ashes for bread; but through all these changes, the love of Christ
toward us is the same deep, pure, vivid affection. Like the sun in the
heavens, which rides high above all the clouds and storms of Earth,
such is our glorious Savior’s love.

The friendship of Christ, though always essentially the same, is most realized by us when most needed. The world is full of sunny-day friendships. They are often reversed by the reverses of fortune.


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