His willingness to die upon a cross when sin should enter. Only if He would promise to die could the Father promise that the Creation would end in Eternal Life. On any other terms it might well end in a catastrophe of destruction and misery. God, as well as man, must count the cost of anything He might undertake lest He be unable or unwilling to pay the price of success.
The first sight we are given, then, of the Son of God is as of a Lamb slain before the foundation of the world; by the gracious sacrifice of Himself enabling His Father to bring into being an Eternal Universe wherein the inhabitants should for ever enjoy perfect felicity. The Cross was lifted upon His shoulder from the beginning and daily carried till at length He sank beneath its weight upon Calvary. He gave to His Father's plan that complete and enthusiastic devotion which was expressed in the words 'I delight to do Thy Will, O My God'. Together with the Holy Spirit they went forward to an undertaking which through long-suffering, sorrow and sacrifice was to culminate in the bliss of the New Heaven and New Earth. The pain of One would be the grief of all. The Spirit would know what it was to pray with unutterable groanings, while the Father's heart was torn in sympathy. Each member of the Godhead would love to explain to men and angels the nobility of the other Two; for love seeketh the glory not of itself, but of another.
We may pause here for a moment to contemplate the courage of the Lord. As Isaac faced the shock of his father's disclosure and steeled himself to lie down upon the altar, so the Son of God heard words from His Father's lips which demanded from Him the supreme sacrifice and utmost devotion. His earthly life was to contain experiences of such a nature as would bring the bloody sweat to His brow at the contemplation of them. He was to have the painful lot of living in the likeness of sinful flesh, and the still more awful tasting of the pains of disembodiment and death in Hades.