Christ was not compelled to endure the cruel treatment inflicted upon him. He was not compelled to undertake the work of redemption,—to step down from his heavenly throne, and come to this earth to receive hatred, abuse, rejection, and a crown of thorns. The humiliation that he endured, he endured voluntarily, to save a world from eternal ruin. He might have continued to abide in the heavenly courts, clothed in garments of purest white, sitting as a prince at God’s right hand. Voluntarily he offered himself, a willing sacrifice.
Not one of the angels could have become surety for the human race: their life is God’s; they could not surrender it. The angels all wear the yoke of obedience. They are the appointed messengers of Him who is the commander of all heaven. But Christ is equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. He could pay the ransom for man’s freedom. He is the eternal, self-existing Son, on whom no yoke had come; and when God asked, “Whom shall I send?” he could reply, “Here am I; send me.” He could pledge himself to become man’s surety; for he could say that which the highest angel could not say,—I have power over my own life, “power to lay it down, and … power to take it again.”