Stephen Charnock on the mystery of divine love:
So blinded is [the fallen human] mind, as not to be able to find out a way for his own recovery;
so perverse is his will, that instead of craving pardon of his Judge, he flies from him,
and when his flight would not advantage him, he stands upon his own defense, and extenuates his crime;
thus adding one provocation to another, as if he had an ambition to harden the heart of God against him, and render himself irrecoverably miserable. . .
Rather than this notorious rebel and prodigious apostate should perish [as he deserves,
God chose to] transfer the punishment
(which he could not remit without a violation of his truth and an injury to his righteousness)
upon a person
equal to himself,
most beloved to him,
his delight from eternity,
and infinitely dearer to him
than anything in heaven or earth.
Herein was the emphasis of divine love to us,
that “He sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sin,” 1 John iv. 10.
It was love that he would restore man after the fall;
there was no more necessity of doing this than of creating the world.
As it added nothing to the happiness of God,
so the want of it had detracted nothing from it.
There was no more absolute necessity of setting up man again after his breaking,
than of a new repair of the world after the destructive deluge.
But that he might wind up his love to the highest pitch,
he would not only restore man,
but rather than let him lie in his deserved misery,
would punish his own Son, to secure man from it.
It was purely his grace which was the cause that his Son “tasted death for every man,” Heb. ii. 9.
From Christ Crucified (pp. 12–13). Minor edits added.