From reading the Bible over the years, I have drawn the conclusion that God likes Irony. I cannot absolutely say so but it does seem that God has used irony at least a few times over the millennia. I’m not going to go over but one instance here, the greatest one, the time when Christ was nailed to the cross.
In this one event there are likely several ironies, some which I may not have noticed. First, it occurred at a time that he seemed the weakest while he was displaying some of his greatest power. There was no way that they would have laid a finger on Jesus but that it was a fulfillment of his plan and his will. To some degree, He demonstrated this when He said, “I am.” in reply to the soldiers in The Garden of Gethsemane. When He replied, the soldiers were forced back by his words.
When I was younger and heard the story for the first time, I was as others. I wondered why God did not send his angels in to save Him. I mean, in the movies, don’t the horse soldiers come riding to the rescue at the last minute. Not this time. God let Him die on the cross. Jesus willingly gave up his life. It was an a picture of utter defeat.
Indeed, since Jesus was born, Satan had tried to kill Him. He knew who Jesus was and he knew Jesus came to save mankind from sin. Even so, I wonder if someone had filled him in on the details. As Jesus died, people mocked him, likely at the encouragement of Satan. Could it be that Satan didn’t know that it was all a big plan. Did he know that Jesus was going to pay for all man’s sin in His death.
Then again, I suppose Satan would have won if Jesus stepped down from the cross and punished those who mocked Him. That was not the Plan and if Satan thwarted the plan, then maybe he would have won. But Jesus stayed on the cross and never tried to explain why. It was the plan. He did it for love of all those who mocked and hated Him, among others.
The Bible does not say and we are warned against speculating. Maybe Satan knew. Maybe he didn’t. It just is that from my point of view, it looked as if Satan did exactly what he was supposed to do exactly when he was supposed to do it. Finally, after thirty years of Jesus walking this earth, Satan seemed to succeed at one thing he had been trying since Jesus’ birth.
So, as the people of the day looked on and mocked Him, I would suspect that millions of Satan’s minions watched and cheered too. God’s messengers were there too, but they had a different attitude. They wanted to go in and help but they were ordered to stand back and let it happen.
So the people yelled, “Others he saved, himself he cannot.” Perhaps throughout the Bible, encapsulated in those few words are the greatest irony in the Bible. You see, the truth is He could, but He would not. It did not fit his purpose to save Himself but to save us.
Then three days later, He rose and walked among men. In what looked like Jesus’ greatest defeat was His greatest victory. And now, because He did decide to pay the price, don’t you think we should recognize the fact. Is it so horrible to go to our knees and admit, without Him paying the price, our future would be hopeless.
Surly, He deserves our respect. Surely He deserves our faith.
And what a disaster it is when man turns his face from Jesus Christ after what he did. What a disaster it is when a man stands on his feeble legs and defiantly says, I can save myself. I am just as good as the next guy. The truth is, though, none of us are as good or as powerful as Jesus.
Certainly one of the greatest ironies is that it is difficult for someone to be saved because he relies on his own abilities instead of Jesus. May I remind you, when you say you are good enough to save yourself, it is akin to spitting in the eye of Jesus. You are saying that He did it all for nothing. To me, and perhaps to Him, it is the greatest sin of all. Regardless, it is the only sin that will keep you out of heaven. If you will not accept him as your one and only savior, you will spend forever in a very unpleasant place we call hell. The only reason we call it hell is that we cannot find a word that truly describes it.
The worst part about it is that there is no hope for anyone who goes there. You see, after you have been there one or two million years, your days in the future have not been decreased by one. God has done what He can for you. There is no reason for you to go to hell but your own stubborn decision.
One final brief important note. Religion will not save you. Jesus and Jesus alone saves. To be saved, first you must admit you are lost. Second, you must admit you cannot save yourself. Finally, you must accept Jesus as your savior. You must accept him as your Lord and savior. If you take any other path, it will lead to hell. It is the irony. No one likes being in a position where he can’t help himself. It is hard to completely rely on someone else, especially when you can’t see him.