A Trail of Victory and Blood

Excerpt Taken From:
Helmut Thielicke
How to Believe Again
Fortress Press, 1972
Page 40

Jesus the conquering power of the kingdom of God is not the only force at work.  The opponents, the demonic powers, are also active.

Even at a distance the double secret of this life begins to reveal itself.  On the one hand a trail of victory follows on his heels, a trail that leads into your life and my life today.  Here one comes into peace with God and finds the meaning of his life again.  Here the chains of our bondage are broken and the fear of death is removed.  Here an eternal hand lies in our own.

But another secret also begins to come to light.  The figure of the Savior, of all things, leaves a trail of blood behind.  Terror, clericalism and intolerance dog his heels.  There is no horror of any sort of inquisition, no witch trial, no stake, no diabolical trick that will not also be perpetrated in its name--the name of a so-called Christianity. 

It is apparent that wherever the Savior shows up everything, including the opposition is aroused and swings into action.  He awakens homesickness for the father's house in the prodigal son, but hate and obduracy spring up in the elder brother.  Depraved souls are brought back into line, but the demons rise up and tug at their chains.

Everything between heaven and hell, eternal and abysmal, become "virulent" and swings into action where he appears.  Above him sing the angels, and beneath him murmurs the deep.  Nothing remains unmoved when he appears, and nothing remains unchanged after having encountered him.  The waves become still at his command, and the earth quakes when he cries out in death.  Animated hearts and inanimate elements start vibrating.  There are men who find peace through him; but Judas, too, goes to work.