What motivated the Lord Jesus Christ to leave heaven, become incarnate, and bear our curse? One word, love. Consider how Donald Macleod describes the pactum salutus (the pact of salvation) in his book Christ Crucified:
The most important of these is that Christ takes our place voluntarily, and behind this lies the fact, already noted, that he came into the world in accordance with a plan of salvation agreed from eternity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Christ, as the divine Son, was a full party to this agreement, not as an inferior or junior, but as an equal. He did not become mediator by a sovereign divine decree, or by the imperious command of a divine superior. Instead, prompted by love for the world he assumed, voluntarily, the role of mediator; and prompted by the same love the Father agrees to send him and the Holy Spirit to anoint him. It is by this covenant that Christ is united to his people. With his own loving consent he becomes their head, their representative, their surety and their substitute; and by entering into this union he undertakes not only to act on their behalf but to contract their debts and to assume their liabilities. From this point of view, the road to Calvary began in eternity, when the divine Son volunteered, ‘Here am I! Send me!’ There was surely nothing immoral here. The Son of God had a right to love this way, and the triune God had a right to save this way. Who could forbid the Eternal Son becoming surety for his people? And who could forbid him, having become their surety, to love them to the extreme of accepting their doom in their place?
[Donald Macleod, Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014) 95-96.]
Don’t you love that? He loved us to the extreme of accepting our doom. Doesn’t that leave us in awe and wonder? Oh how he loves you and me! He has loved you from eternity past, he loves you in your ever changing present, and he will love you through eternity. May our love be an echo of his.
Warmly in Christ,
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