My answer is based on the fact that I am a Baptist and I hold to a literal, Grammatical, Historical interpretation of the Bible. Although in this case I would think there would be broad agreement among most sects of Christianity.
The first thing is Jesus came in fulfillment of the Old Testament office of the Messiah. There were dozens of Old Testament prophecies that would be fulfilled by the Messiah. They are as simple as the fact that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:1, Luke 2:4-6). There are actually quite detailed prophecies that indicate the manner in which the Messiah would die. It was these prophecies that Israel ignored, instead looking at the aspects of the Messiah's reign as the son of David, in hope He would overthrow the Romans. In His first coming He fulfilled the prophecies concerning His death and some additional ones. Then He will reign over His literal kingdom as the Son of David after His second coming (I understand that that aspect would not find agreement here on the Christianity site).
As to His death here are some key starting points from the Scriptures.
First, His death, burial, and resurrection were "according to the Scriptures" or in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
1 Cor. 15:3-4 (KJV)
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
This and other passages indicate that Jesus came to die a specific kind of death in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
An example of something specific is found in John's account of the death of Christ in John 19:28-30.
John 28:28-30 (KJV):
28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
This part of His crucifixion was just prior to His death. Everything had been accomplished, yet there remained one Old Testament prophecy that had not yet been fulfilled. In Psalm 69:21 there was a prophecy that stated that the enemies of the Messiah would give Him "gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink." Jesus knew that this had not been fulfilled yet and so He said "I Thirst" knowing the Roman soldiers would give Him gall mixed with vinegar so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.
Psalm 22:16 (KJV)
16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Psalm 22:16 describes the piercing of His hands and feet, which indicates a death by crucifixion. This is a key point that Jesus knew He would die at the hands of the Romans and not the Jews. Jewish executions were by stoning. It was almost exclusively a Roman practice to employ crucifixion as a means of both torture and death. It didn't have to be by the Romans but in the first century that is how a person would die by having their hands and feet pierced.
Zech 12:10 is a future prophetic message that indicates a day when grace would fall upon the house of David and Jerusalem:
Zech. 12:10 (KJV)
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
He would crucified with Criminals (Isa. 53:12)
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
His death on the cross also included the mocking by the crowd as predicted in Psalm 22:7-8:
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Soldiers would gamble over Garments (Psalm 22:18; Luke 23:34; Matthew 27:35-36).
His bones would not be broken, even though he had been crucified, a common practice by the Romans (Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20; John 19:33-36).
While not specifically detailing the exact details of a death by crucifixion it comes very close:
Isa. 53 is the last of five songs in the book of Isaiah called the suffering servant songs. In them the Messiah is called God's servant and the theme to all of them is that the servant must suffer. It were these especially that were overlooked by Israel at the time.
1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? 2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah went on in this most wonderful passage for those who put their trust in Him alone.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Finally the chapter ends with God the Father's assessment of the death of Christ.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
It was the LORD, Jehovah or Yahweh, depending on how you pronounce it who it pleased the LORD in this way. It was the LORD who was satisfied with the death of Christ in this way. Theologically this means that the members of the triune Godhead had planned from before the foundation of the earth that God would take on human flesh (the Son) and that the Father would pour out His wrath upon the Son, then the Son would willingly give up His life as a remedy for sin. The result is the Father would be forever satisfied with the death of Christ as a once for all sacrifice. The theological term for the satisfaction of the Father is called propitiation. He is our propitiation, meaning the for believers this is the way in which God can be satisfied with us, by looking upon His Son.
To be a little more specific, Jesus knew the hour and the manner of His death at the hands of Pilate.
For example in Luke 4 there is the circumstance in which the Jews desired to kill Jesus by throwing Him off a cliff. Jesus had told those in the synagogue that He was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah.
Here is their response and the outcome:
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,
It was not yet the exact timing of His death and neither was it the manner in which the Old Testament had prophesized His death and so he simply passed through their midst. It might be easy to miss but they driven Him to the edge of the cliff, do you think they would have allowed Him to willingly pass through their midst? It was a miracle because they were filled with wrath.
Matthew 16 provides a very important passage that details His desire to go to Jerusalem and to suffer many things at the hands of the elders and chief priests of Israel.
21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. 22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Some key points that come out of this passage:
Prior to this point he had don't told the disciples about His death. Notice it says He began to show the disciples. From his point forward He would tell them of what was coming. That means the manner and timing of His death was already known months before it happened. Notice also that at first Peter is shocked and pleads with Jesus for this not to happen. His response indicates Peter knew Jesus was in control and he was asking Jesus to exercise His control by choosing not to die. Yet this would have been a disaster for both Peter and us, as previously noted in Isa. 53 the manner in which He dies was the means that God had planned so that sinners could be forgiven of their sins. If He failed to Die then everyone would still be in their sins. That is why Jesus says that what Peter had suggested could only have come from Satan. It is only Satan who would like to see Jesus in light of something other than what He is, the Messiah who came and died so that sinners might live.
In the garden of Gethsemane the disciples were all asleep on the night he was betrayed.
Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
Jesus knew the hour had come when all might be fulfilled even including the fact that Judas had betrayed Him.
The next event is also striking. Jesus wanted to be taken away and through the process of the trials to handed to the Romans.
Peter took a sword and cut off the ear of the high priests servant. Then Jesus said the following:
52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? 55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. 56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
This indicates the crux of the issue:
- Jesus could have called upon His power as the Son of God to called twelve legions of angels to aid him.
- If He did that He asked how then could the Scriptures be fulfilled that detailed the manner of His death. That shows He wanted to die in the way it happened because He was always in control of the events. The question imply that Jesus was passive and completely at the mercy of men like Pilate. Pilate was only given the control he had because Jesus had willingly given it to Him. He was anything but passive.
- This indicates that even the manner in which He was arrested was in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
- Mentioned earlier was the fact that Jesus gave up the ghost. His death was a supernatural death in that He knew all had been fulfilled. While capital punishment involves no choice by the one who dies, in the case of Jesus He always had a choice. That is why the Romans soldiers were shocked when they discovered he had already died in just a few hours on the cross. Death by crucifixion is a slow painful act of torture. It would often take days to die and in a few rare cases people were even allowed to come down off the cross. Yet Jesus dies willingly in a few hours on the cross.
- The real agony of the cross is the part that only Jesus experienced. So even if He had died in another way, He still would have been in agony while the Father laid our sins upon Him. It is the aspect in which the Father laid the iniquity of us all on Him. His body was broken for us by the Father so that we might have access to the Father. That's why Jesus had two elements in the Lord's Supper. The bread represents His broken body ad it is the basis of our access to God, and the blood is the means of forgiveness. It takes both to gain access to heaven.