Bonhoeffer on the resurrection

“The drastic acceptance or rejection of earthly life reveals that only death has any value here.  To clutch at everything or to cast away everything is the reaction of one who believes fanatically in death.

But wherever it is recognized that the power of death has been broken, wherever the world of death is illumined by the miracle of the resurrection and of the new life, there no eternities are demanded of life but one takes of life what it offers, not all or nothing but good and evil, the important and the unimportant, joy and sorrow; one neither clings convulsively to life nor casts it frivolously away.  One is content with the allotted span and one does not invest earthly things with the title of eternity; one allows to death the limited rights which it still possess.  It is from beyond death that one expects the coming of the new man and of the new world, from the power by which death has been vanquished.

The risen Christ bears the new humanity within Himself, the final glorious “yes” which God addresses to the new man.  It is true that mankind is still living the old life, but it is already beyond the old.  It still lives in a world of death, but it is already beyond death.  It still lives in a world of sin, but it is already beyond sin.  The night is not yet over, but already the dawn is breaking.”

Ethics 80-81 (Touchstone edition)


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