Twenty-one is a reading plan we created with the hope that it will help you connect with God and prepare your heart for Easter. We’re glad you’ve opted to join us on this journey and look forward to celebrating Easter with you!
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When we are young, we address older people as Mr. and Mrs. out of respect because of their position of authority over us. When we are in school, we call our teachers Mr. or Mrs. so and so. The only people we call by their first names are the other kids in our class. Our friends. Our peers. That’s who we call by their first names. As adults, we may refer to a boss or someone of high importance as Sir or Madam. We only call our friends, our peers, or our equals by their first names.
It’s mind-boggling if you think about it, that we address the maker of the universe and the Savior of the World by his first name—JESUS.
The one who made us. The one whose name is above every name. Who knows all. Who sits on high. Who has the power over sin and darkness. The one who knows every hair on every head. The one who saw you as you were being formed. The one who came up with this whole idea of life in the first place.
He came to our level and he calls us friends!
The author of Philippians is discussing the magnitude of the decision Jesus made to walk away from his status as upper management. Instead, he became nothing . . .
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:9-11
WHAT? He is God, but chose to be like us? To become our friend? Still don’t believe it? Check this out. Jesus goes so far as to tell his followers that he considers them friends.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
— John 15:13–15
He calls us friends. Imagine today what that means for you. You don’t have to call him Mr. Christ. To you, to me, he’s just Jesus.