Author Michael Scott Horton says it like this: “He who was the truth became the world’s most inveterate liar. He who was too pure to look upon a woman to lust would become history’s most promiscuous adulterer. The only man who ever loved with pure selflessness would become the most despised villain in the universe. He would become a racist, a murderer, a gossip, slanderer, thief and tyrant. He would become all of this not in himself, but as the sin-bearing substitute for us.”
He continues, “At last, the moment came: God turned his face of wrath toward his bleeding, dying Son, and made him drink that cup of rejection to the last drop. See here the price of your redemption: God must hate his own sinless Son, the joy of his eternal heart, that he may love you justly. The Father must become the enemy of the son, the avenging angel who slaughters the firstborn Son in the dark Egyptian night of his captivity. In that moment, with the sin of the world crushing his soul, Jesus looked to the Father, with whom He had enjoyed eternal intimacy and indescribable love, and found no one there to comfort him.” from We Believe: Recovering the Essentials of the Apostles’ Creed by Michael Horton
First Presbyterian Church on The Apostle’s Creed
“How shall we distinguish Christ’s active obedience from His passive obedience? Shall we say that He accomplished His active obedience by His life and accomplished His passive obedience by His death? No, that will not do at all. During every moment of His life upon earth Christ was engaged in His passive obedience. It was all for Him humiliation, was it not? It was all suffering. It was all part of His payment of the penalty of sin. On the other hand, we cannot say that His death was passive obedience and not active obedience. On the contrary, His death was the crown of His active obedience. It was the crown of that obedience to the law of God by which He merited eternal life for those whom He came to save.
Do you not see, then, what the true state of the case is? Christ’s active obedience and His passive obedience are not two divisions of His work, some of the events of His earthly life being His active obedience and other events of His life being His passive obedience; but every event of His life was both active obedience and passive obedience. Every event of His life was a part of His payment of the penalty of sin, and every event of His life was a part of that glorious keeping of the law of God by which He earned for His people the reward of eternal life. The two aspects of His work, in other words, are inextricably intertwined. Neither was performed apart from the other. Together they constitute the wonderful, full salvation which was wrought for us by Christ our Redeemer.”
J. Gresham Machen in the book God Transcendent (190-191)