Tag Archives: Bonhoeffer

“Hosanna!” to “Crucify!”

Eric Metaxas, in his book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy, highlighted what I thought was an interesting excerpt from Bonhoeffer’s writing. During his tenure as a pastor in Spain, Bonhoeffer wrote a letter to his sister describing arte taurina (bull fighting), which he had come to enjoy. He wrote:

I have never seen the swing from “Hosanna!” to “Crusify!” more graphically evoked than in the virtually insane way the crowd goes berserk when the toreador makes an adroit turn, and they immediately follow this with an equally insane howling and whistling when some mishap occurs. The momentary character of this mass mood goes so far that they applaud for the bull and against the toreador if, for example, the latter proves to be cowardly and-quite understandably-his courage fails him for a moment.

p. 75-76. It’s hard to fully appreciate how dramatic the shift in public opinion was from the Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem among shouts of “Hosanna!” to the next Friday when they all shouted “Crucify!”

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