“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?” -Isaiah 53.7-8
The Lamb of God knew his purpose. Like an obedient lamb he did not resist the plan of the Father. It was his choice to lay down his life, and he did so willingly (John 10.18).
Thus it ended. The life, started in a barn, born to a teenage virgin mother, now poured out upon a cross, sacrificed for the sins of Israel. The life which was started with its end always in mind, and now upon the cross he has been “cut off out of the land of the living.”
If this were all, that birth in a manger would not seem so extraordinary. If he died just a simple death, like any other man, he would not have accomplished much. But he did, for the same reason his birth was so spectacular: he’s not any other man, he’s the God-man. Because of this his sacrifice was “without blemish” (Hebrews 9.14) and his death stands as a substitution for all who’ll believe on him (2 Corinthians 5.21).
Willingly he laid down his life that, though we choose to run straight to hell, we might be granted an eternity in his presence.