Neither was it overcome by any violence, but of its own accord, out of goodness unconstrained, it endured to God’s honour and the profit of other men those things which the evil will of others brought upon it not through the compulsion of any obligation, but through the appointment of a wisdom that had power to accomplish its purposes.
For the Father did not by His commandment compel that Man to die, but Christ performed of His own free will that which He knew would be pleasing to the Father and profitable to men.
He had no right to exact of Him; neither could this great act of honour but be pleasing to the Father, which His Son freely offered to Him.
Thus therefore He rendered unto the Father a free obedience, in willing freely to do that which He knew would be pleasing to the Father.
But because the Father bestowed upon Him this good will, though it were free, yet is it rightly said that He received it as the commandment of the Father.
In this manner therefore He was obedient to the Father even unto death (Phil. 2:8). And as the Father gave Him commandment, even so He did (Jn. 14:31). And He drank the cup which His Father had given unto Him (Jn. 18:11).
This is the perfect and free obedience of human nature, when it freely submits its own free will to God’s will, and has then of its own accord carried out in deed that good purpose which God has not exacted but accepted.
Thus this Man redeems all others, in that He reckons that which He hath freely given to God, as the debt which they owed to God.
And by this price man is not only once redeemed from his faults but, so often as he returns to God in worthy penitence, he is received; yet this worthy penitence is not promised to the sinner.
As to that which was done on the Cross, by His Cross has our Christ redeemed us. They therefore who desire to approach unto this grace with a worthy affection are saved.
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditation Concerning the Redemption of Mankind