“Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek you?” John 18:4
His voluntariness was not founded on ignorance. He well knew what the covenant of redemption involved- what stern justice demanded.
The entire scene of His humiliation was before Him, in all its dark and somber hues- the manger- the bloodthirsty king- the scorn and ridicule of His countrymen- the unbelief of His own kinsmen- the mental agony of Gethsemane- the bloody sweat- the bitter cup- the waywardness of His disciples- the betrayal of one, the denial of another, the forsaking of all- the mock trial- the purple robe- the crown of thorns- the infuriated cry, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him, crucify Him!”- the heavy cross- the painful crucifixion- the cruel taunts- the vinegar and the gall- the hidings of His Father’s countenance- the concentrated horrors of the curse- the last cry of anguish- the falling of the head- the giving up the spirit; all, all was before the omniscient mind of the Son of God, with vividness equal to its reality, when He exclaimed, “Save him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.”
And yet He willingly rushed to the rescue of ruined man. He voluntarily, though He knew the price of pardon was His blood, gave Himself up thus to the bitter, bitter agony. And did He regret that He had undertaken the work? Never! It is said that repented God that He had made man; but in no instance is it recorded that it repented Jesus that He had redeemed man. Not an action, not a word, not a look betrayed an emotion like this.
Every step He took from Bethlehem to Calvary did but unfold the willingness of Jesus to die. “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened until it be accomplished!”
Oh, how amazing was the love of Jesus! This, this was the secret why He loved not His own life unto the death. He loved sinners too well. He loved us better than Himself. With all our sinfulness, guilt, wretchedness, and poverty; He yet loved us so much as to give Himself an offering and sacrifice unto God for us. Here was the spring-head where flowed these streams of mercy. This was the gushing fountain that was opened when He died. And when they taunted Him and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself,” oh, what a reply did His silence give “I came not to save myself, but my people- I hang here, not for my own sins, but for theirs- I could save myself, but I came to give my life a ransom for many.”
They thought the nails alone kept Him to the cross- He knew it was His own love that fastened Him there. Behold the strength of Immanuel’s love. Come, fall prostrate, adore and worship Him. Oh, what love was His! Oh the depth!
Content not yourself with standing upon the shore of this ocean- enter into it, drink largely from it. It is for you, if you but feel your nothingness, your poverty, your vileness; this ocean is for you. It is not for angels, it is for men. It is not for the righteous, but for sinners. Then drink to the full from the love of Jesus.
Do not be satisfied with small supplies. Take a large vessel to the fountain. The larger the demand, the larger the supply. The more needy, the more welcome. The more vile, the more fit.