The Puritan writer John Flavel says, ‘there are certain things in which one friend manifests his affection and friendship to another, but there is not one like Christ. For,
1. No friend is so open-hearted to his friend as Christ is to his people: he reveals the very counsels and secrets of his heart to them. Jn 15:15. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knows not what his Lord does; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you.
2. No friend in the world is so generous and bountiful to his friend, as Jesus Christ is to believers; he parts with his very blood for them; Greater love (he says) has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, Jn 15:13. He has exhausted the precious treasures of his invaluable blood to pay our debts. O what a lovely friend is Jesus Christ to believers!
3. No friend sympathizes so tenderly with his friend in affliction, as Jesus Christ does with his friends: In all our afflictions he is afflicted, Heb 4:15. He feels all our sorrows, needs and burdens as his own. This is why it is said that the sufferings of believers are called the sufferings of Christ, Col 1:24.
4. No friend in the world takes that contentment in his friends, as Jesus Christ does in believers. Song of Songs 4:9. You have ravished my heart, (he says to the spouse) you have ravished my heart with one of your eyes, with one chain of your neck. The Hebrew, here rendered ravished, signifies to puff up, or to make one proud: how the Lord Jesus is pleased to glory in his people! How he is taken and delighted with those gracious ornaments which himself bestows upon them! There is no friend so lovely as Christ.
5. No friend in the world loves his friend with as impassioned and strong affection as Jesus Christ loves believers. Jacob loved Rachel, and endured for her sake the parching heat of summer and cold of winter; but Christ endured the storms of the wrath of God, the heat of his indignation, for our sakes. David manifested his love to Absalom, in wishing, O that I had died for you! Christ manifested his love to us, not in wishes that he had died, but in death itself, in our stead, and for our sakes.
6. No friend in the world is so constant and unchangeable in friendship as Christ is. Jn 13:1, Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. He bears with millions of provocations and wrongs, and yet will not break friendship with his people. Peter denied him, yet he will not disown him; but after his resurrection he says, Go, tell the disciples, and tell Peter. Let him not think he has forfeited by that sin of his, his interest in me. Though he denied me, I will not disown him, Mk 16:7. O how lovely is Christ in the relation of a friend!’
(Flavel, Christ Altogether Lovely)