The Irony of the Crucifixion

Tim Brown

READ : Luke 23:26-49

If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself! (v. 37 NRSV)

There is something hugely ironic about the mocking soldiers crying out, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Actually, nothing would have been easier than for Jesus to save himself from the horrors of the cross. He literally could have called ten thousand angels to rescue him. They must have been lining the rim of heaven just waiting for his command. But he would not do that because he came to save us, and death on the cross was the plan of the Father to accomplish that saving. The irony is that if he had saved himself he would have proved that he wasn’t the King of the Jews!

There is a corollary to this in our own lives. Jesus drew that corollary back in Luke 9 when he said, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it” (v. 24 NRSV). This is the great difference between the Christian faith and all other faiths: at the heart of our faith is a Savior who suffered, died, and rose again so that we might have life. The way for us to appropriate that life is to enter into the death of Jesus so that we may be raised with Jesus to newness of life!

As John Newton once said, “I am a very great sinner, and Christ is a very great Savior.” Hallelujah!


We offer ourselves to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely!