Monday, February 28, 2011

Juxtaposition of Two Realities of Death

 That Zac and his wife Mandy can confront death so bravely is inspiring.

I was reminded again of these videos as I continue reading the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer explored the meaning of death after four fellow German pastors died on the eastern front in WWII.

In a letter following this event Bonhoeffer wrote:
"In the face of death we cannot simply speak in some fatalistic way, "God wills it"; but we must juxtapose it with the other reality, "God does not will it." Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption. Christ alone is the conquering of death. Here the sharp antithesis between "God wills it" and "God does not will it" comes to a head and also finds its resolution. God accedes to that which God does not will, and from now on death itself must therefore serve God. From now on, the "God wills it" encompasses even the "God does not will it." God wills the conquering of death through the death of Jesus Christ. Only in the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ has death been drawn into God's powers, and it must now serve God's own aims. It is not some fatalistic surrender but rather a living faith in Jesus Christ, who died and rose for us, that is able to cope profoundly with death. (Pg 384)

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