Lent with Bonhoeffer: God Tramples the Devil


Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018

Is the hour of temptation not bound to come? So is it not illegitimate to pray in this way? Ought we not rather to pray that in the hour of temptation, which is bound to come, strength may be given us to overcome our temptation? Such a thought claims to know more about temptation than Christ himself, and wants to be better than he who knew the hardest temptation. “Is temptation not bound to come?” Then why? Must God deliver up his own to Satan? Must he lead them to the abyss where they fall? Must God yield such power to Satan? Who are we to speak of temptation is being bound to come? Are we in God’s counsel? And if–in virtue of a divine bond which is incomprehensible to us–temptation is bound to come, then Christ, the most tempted of all, summons us pray against the divine bond–not to yield in stoic resignation to temptation, but to flee from that dark bond, in which God lets the devil do his will, and call to the open divine freedom in which God tramples the devil under foot. “Lead us not into temptation.”

-from Temptation, pg. 114

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