Like any good narrative, the Bible uses literary devices such as metaphors, double-meanings, paradoxes, and irony. The New Testament authors often used irony to draw out the difference between how mankind sees things from their perspective and how God sees things from His perspective. Irony also helps create a sharp contrast between expectations and realities as well as between intent and effect. A third way authors employ irony is to highlight something the readers know that the characters in the story would have been unaware of.
In Colossians 2:13-15 Paul provides at least four ironies tied to the cross of Jesus Christ. We see stark contrasts between the purpose of man and the purpose of God, Satan’s plan for destruction and God’s plan for redemption. The cross reminds us things are often not what they seem in this life. Circumstances and the point of view of fallen man is not a reliable source for interpreting life because God is working in ways we cannot see. God’s economy is different than our own. It is in the darkest moments that the greatest light shines. It is in act of death that life is granted. We will briefly look at four ironies of Jesus’ cross from Colossians 2:13-15 in order to understand what was really taking place.