Augustine: Jesus died because he wished to…

For our sakes the Lord paid this one death which he did not owe in order that the death we do owe might do us no harm. He was not stripped of the flesh by right of any alien authority; he alone stripped himself (Col 2:15) of it. As he was able not to die if he did not wish to, it follows since he did die that it was because he wished to; and thus He made an example of the principalities and powers, confidently triumphing over them in himself (Col 2:15). By his death he offered for us the one truest possible sacrifice, and thereby purged, abolished, and destroyed whatever there was of guilt, for which the principalities and powers had a right to hold us bound to payment of the penalty; and by his resurrection he called to new life us who were predestined, justified us who were called, glorified us who were justified.

Augustine. The Trinity. The Works of Saint Augustine. Edited by John E. Rotelle. Translated by Edmund Hill. Brooklyn: New City Press, 1991, p. 166.

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