Reading: Hebrews 12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Christ goes through the cross, only through the cross, to life, to the resurrection, to victory. That, indeed, is the marvellous — and yet for many people so repulsive — theme of the Bible, that the only visible sign of God in the world is the cross. Christ is not gloriously transported from earth into heaven. He must instead go to the cross. And precisely there, where the cross stands, the resurrection is near. Precisely here, where all lose faith in God, where all despair about the power of God, God is fully there, and Christ is alive and near. Where one stands on a razor’s edge of becoming an apostate or remaining true, God and Christ are fully there. Where the power of darkness wants to overcome the light of God, there God triumphs and judges the darkness.
So much could change, if people really believed this.
Letter to Eberhard Bethge from Tegel prison, 25 March 1944