Luther Quote of the Day

20. And to the Lord, the Lord, belongs the departure of death. There is a difference between “the Lord of life” and “the Lord of the departure of death,” for this is said more specifically concerning the future immortality and incorruption. For it can be life, even though it will at some time enter death, and to this point God can be called “the Lord of life.” But indeed, this life is not life, but more correctly the departure from life and the entrance into death, and that because without intermission “in the midst of life we are in death,”20 and since we are so always, we at one and the same time depart from this life and enter into death. But the “departure of death” is a going out of death altogether and a going into the total life. This is what it means for death to be swallowed up, not just to be bitten, but to be swallowed up in victory and to be left altogether behind the back. This is now going on in the spirit, but in the future it will also happen in the body, and so the Lord Jesus is truly the God of life, and not of life only, but also of the departure of death, that is, of immortal life without the admixture of death or mortality, but life pure and simple. Thus we may go out of death, and death itself may depart, that is, be done with. For the departure is the end. The Lord is the End and Finisher of death [to indicate this, we have the double “Lord, Lord.” He is the author of both bodily and spiritual immortality].21 Yet at the same time redemption is given expression by it. For the Lord of life is understood as the Creator of life. But the Lord of the departure of death is the Recreator of the life that has fallen into death. So Ps. 65:8: “Thou wilt make the outgoings of the morning and the evening joyful,” that is, “the fact that the spirit and the flesh go out from death is a sweet message, and through it Thou wilt make Thy faithful ones joyful.”

Psalm 68

Luther’s works, vol. 10: First Lectures I

Psalms 1-75

p 337-338


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