When Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, did He go joyfully, or did He go reluctantly? I've always wondered about this. — L.McK.
Although it may seem like a contradiction (although it isn't), the Bible indicates both are true: Jesus went to the cross reluctantly—and also joyfully. Let me explain.
He went to the cross reluctantly—not unwillingly, but reluctantly—because He knew the terrible price He would have to pay to purchase our salvation. As the Son of God, from all eternity He had known only complete and unbroken fellowship with His Father. But He knew that on the cross all the sins of the world would be placed upon Him—and when that happened, His fellowship with the Father would be broken. In that awful moment He cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). We can barely imagine the horror of that moment, as God's Son took upon Himself the death and Hell you and I deserved.
But He also went to the cross joyfully—because from all eternity He loved us, and He knew that only through the cross could we be saved and be with Him in heaven forever. The Bible says that "for the joy set before him (Christ) endured the cross, scorning its shame" (Hebrews 12:2). God loves us that much!
Never lose sight of what it cost God to make our salvation possible: the blood of His own dear Son. Why did He do it? He did it out of love: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Have you put your faith and trust in Him? If not, open your heart to Christ right now.