Irony is a hollow point bullet that also has deeper penetration. It is a longer blade and serrated too. “Your not a king,” will not stab near as deep or jagged as, “Hail, King of the Jews!” when spoken in mockery. Sarcasm shells pierce to the bone and make a mess getting there. But don’t miss Matthew’s irony for soldiers’, crowd’s and leaders’, that is, don’t miss his mockery of their mockery. The supreme irony is that their irony isn’t ironic. Instead of being laughed with, they are laughed at. The joke is on them.
Jesus really is the King (Matthew 27:29, 37, 42). Jesus is building the temple by destruction (Matthew 27:40; John 2:19-22). It is precisely because Jesus is the Son of God that He will not come down from the cross in obedience to His Father (Matthew 27:40). It is only by not saving Himself that He can save others (Matthew 27:42). It is only because Jesus is lifted up that any believe in Him (Matthew 27:43; John 12:32-33).
Don’t get in a zinger competition with God. God’s irony always wins. He has the bigger sense of humor. He always laughs loudest. God’s victorious righteous guffaw silences the sinful giggles of wicked men. Play no pretend sarcastic homage to God’s King. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
—Psalm 2 (ESV)