The heavenly Father wasn’t willing to lose His beloved creatures to the powers of hell so He formed a rescue plan for us. “Thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people” (Psalm 89:19). The Father said to His Son, “Humankind is going to grow weak and miserable because of their sin, helpless to find their way back to Me. I appoint You as My holy one to help bring them back into My favor.”
We hear the Son’s own covenant words: “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). Everything Jesus did on earth was in fulfillment of His terms of the covenant: “I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49).
The Bible states these terms clearly. Jesus was to divest Himself of all heavenly glory, taking on a human body: “[He] made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). He was to endure reproaches and suffering, “a man of sorrows” acquainted with grief. He was to grow up undesirable to the world: “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2). After all this, He was to submit Himself into the hands of wicked men, and in great agony lay down His life as an offering for humankind’s sin. In making atonement He would have to endure God’s wrath for a season.
God then laid out the type of ministry His Son would undertake to redeem humankind. He told Jesus, “Your ministry is going to be that of a priest. I’ve known all My children from the foundation of the world, and now I give them as a flock for You to shepherd.” Jesus testified on earth, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
Finally, the Father instructed His Son, “If You choose to go, these works will be required of You: Preach good tidings to the meek; bind up the brokenhearted; proclaim liberty to the captives. Open prison doors to those in bondage; bear with the weaknesses of the frail; bear tenderly with the ignorant; supply their shortcomings with Your strength. Feed the flock; carry them in Your bosom; gently lead the young; lend Your strength to the weak. Guide them all with Your counsel; promise to send them the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of their freedom; and bring them home to glory with You” (see Isaiah 61:1-3).