I love a good quote. I use them all the time because they clarify, condense and add considerable weight to an already good point. Churchill said: “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.” Well, I would add that it is even a good thing for educated people to color their conversations with a great quote every now and then. I am all with Marlene Dietrich here: “I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.”

By the time this post comes out, we will be nearing the end of Holy Week. Easter is quickly approaching, but we still have to go through the darkest hours of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It seemed to me that instead of continuing our discussion of Bonhoeffer’s Life Together, that we would be better served by listening to Bonhoeffer speak about the events of Holy Week and what they should mean to us. So, here are eleven great quotes from various sources that Bonhoeffer wrote about Jesus’ sacrifice for us. My prayer is that these quotes will work their way deep into our souls and move us to seek Jesus the Crucified. Enjoy.

“The deep meaning of the cross of Christ is that there is no suffering on earth
that is not borne by God.”

“Without the atonement, every one of us would stand forever
in the role of Judas.”

“Easter is not about immortality,
but about resurrection from a death that is a real death with all its frightfulness and horrors; resurrection from a death of the body and the soul, of the whole person;
resurrection by the power of God’s mighty act.
This is the Easter message.”

“Those who have found God in the cross of Jesus Christ
know how wonderfully God hides himself in this world
and how he is closest precisely
when we believe him to be most distant.”

“Our attention falls more on dying than on death.
How we deal with dying is more important to us than how we conquer death.
Socrates overcame dying; Christ overcame death.”

“Good Friday and Easter free us to think about other things far beyond our own personal fate,
about the ultimate meaning of all life, suffering, and events;
and we lay hold of a great hope.”

“A king who dies on the cross must be the king of a rather strange kingdom.
Only those who understand the profound paradox of the cross
can also understand the whole meaning of Jesus’ assertion:
my kingdom is not of this world.”

“The love for our enemies takes us along the way of the cross
and into fellowship with the Crucified.
The more we are driven along this road,
the more certain is the victory of love over the enemy’s hatred.
For then, it is not the disciple’s own love, but the love of Jesus Christ alone,
who for the sake of his enemies went to the cross
and prayed for them as he hung there.”

“To live in the light of the resurrection—
that is what Easter means.”

“Christ did not come into the world that we might understand him,
but that we might cling to him;
that we might simply let ourselves be swept away by him
into the immense event of the resurrection.”

“The cross is not the terrible end
to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life,
but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ.
When Christ calls a man,
He bids him come and die.”

There’s a lot to think about here. I hope you found these as moving and as significant as I did.  

Next week, we will return to Life Together.

I close with another quote, this time from Henri Nouwen. It is actually a prayer for Lent and a prayer that these days would be different. Nouwen writes:

“How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention.
But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent?
How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death?
Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—
and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection.
There is so much in me that needs to die:
false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess. . . .
I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it.
O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones.
Let me find you again. Amen.”