Today we will look at the fifth title Christ affixes to the objects of redemption. We noted that first they are called the many, His sheep, His people, and the children of God scattered abroad.
Fifthly and finally, Christ calls them His friends, for whom He lays down His life (John 15:13). Clearly, the emphasis of this statement is the special love Christ has for His people, which here He calls friends.
The design for which He laid down His life is not mentioned here. But that had already been explained in the institution of the Lord's Supper. Christ's explanation of the Supper that His blood was to be shed for the remission of sins fully expresses the purpose and the effect of His atoning death. So when Christ wishes to teach His disciples mutual love, He appeals to His own example and points to the greatest proof that could be adduced of His love: His vicarious death.
Even without these considerations, it is clear that His death was in the stead of those He called His friends. Both the procuring of redemption and its application are stressed in this passage by the term friend and by the fact that He willingly lays down His life. This special love wins, finds, and rescues its object.