When Weakness Is Strength
Retributive and restorative irony ultimately finds its zenith of expression at the cross. So for example, the devil is doing all he can to destroy Jesus and he thinks finally he’s come up with the ultimate plan to put him to death on a cross.
And yet, just as Haman was hung on his own gallows, the devil himself was hung on his own gallows. At the cross, Jesus is taking the penalty of sin for sinners who’ve been in captivity to Satan. And he, at his very death, is paying the price for people who are in Satan’s captivity. The very thing that Satan thought would destroy Christ and give Satan the victory—is itself a defeat for Satan. He’s hung on his own gallows. It looks like at the cross he is weak, but indeed he is strong.
On the other hand, there’s restorative irony—and Christ is the epitome of that. It looks like he’s being cursed but he’s being blessed. It looks like he’s being defeated, but he’s winning a victory. It looks like at the cross he is weak, but indeed he is strong. So all of these ironies throughout the Scriptures ultimately are designed by God, sovereign and wise, to point to the ultimate irony of his son.
This is a guest article by G.K. Beale author of Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom. This post originally appeared on crossway.org; used with permission.
G. K. Beale (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. In recent years he has served as president and member of the executive committee of the Evangelical Theological Society. He has written several books and articles on biblical studies.