Meditations on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ
by Andrew Peterson
VI. FRIENDS OF GOD
There in the torchlight, beads of blood-like sweat still on your brow, you answer Judas's greeting by calling him “friend.”
“Friend, do what you came for.”
Let's dispose of the charade, you said. And you remind us gently that though his would become perhaps the most dishonored name in history, he was your friend. You still called him friend. And perhaps his hearing that one word was the worst punishment of all for Judas, who considered friendship with you worth nothing more than a bag of change.
No one took your life from you—not Judas, not the Sanhedrin, not Pilate, and not the Jews. Not even me. You laid it down of your own accord. You had the authority to lay it down, and the authority to take it up again.
Let us remember, Lord Jesus, that what you did that Friday was a declaration of your friendship with us, who so often betray you with kisses of our own. Our sin can shock even ourselves, and we buckle beneath the weight of our shame. But you sit us on the chair, wrap a towel around your waist, and kneel before us. We protest, but you hush us and clean our gnarled feet. You bear the whip and the thorns and the naked humiliation of the cross to reconcile us to yourself, to end the enmity between God and man, so that
we betrayers might be declared friends of God—yes, even children of God.
There is no greater love.