Jesus Christ willfully went to the cross of in order to absorb the wrath of God.
Galatians 3:13 (ESV)
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
Romans 3:25 (ESV)
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
1 John 4:10 (ESV)
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Here is an excerpt from my sermon for this upcoming Sunday.
There have been many great sacrificial and heroic acts performed by man. Men have dived off of bridges to save a drowning man and have died in the process. Soldiers have thrown themselves on grenades to save their buddies. People have pushed others out of the way of a vehicle only to be hit themselves. These are all great heroic acts of love, but let us not think for one moment they compare to what Jesus did. At the cross Jesus threw himself on the “death-inflicting explosion of His own wrath” (Ensor, 96). John Ensor wrote, “The cross was not a heroic, impulsive act of self-sacrifice to shield us from an unfortunate accident or dangerous situation. The cross was God’s intentional and punitive action” (Ensor, 96). Justice had to be upheld. Punishment had to be handed out. There was no escaping it. But rather than us paying for the crime, Jesus stood in our place and received His own holy wrath against sin.