The final summing up of all this which is told us at Easter is: Jesus is victor! Jesus — is it not he who was born in humblest lowliness, who died on the cross crying the cry of a derelict of God, he who forgave sins but who collapsed under the burden of sin, he, the humble, smitten by his fate; and of all those laden with grief, is he not the most burdened man of Nazareth? And he is to be victor?
Yes, it is always a difficult, a dark word that scarcely can be tolerated by our ears — that word “resurrection.” That is to say, it is not necessarily hazy. What it really means is clear — too clear, plain — only too plain. It means what it says: something mighty, crystal-clear, complete. It signifies: that the world, that is life with its imprisonments and tragedies of sorrow and sin, life with its doubts and unanswered questions, life with its grave-mounds and crosses for the dead, a unique enigma, so immense that all answers are silent before it. Nothing, absolutely nothing can one do to stop it; everything is too insignificant to fill up this vacuum. Admit it; it negates everything; there is no way out! There might be the possibility of a miracle happening — no, not a miracle, but the miracle, the miracle of God — God’s incomprehensible, saving intervention and mercy, the all-inclusive renewal that leads from death to life that comes from him, God’s creation-word, God’s life-word — and that means resurrection from the dead! Resurrection, not progress, not evolution, not enlightenment, but what the word means, namely a call from heaven to us: “Rise up! you are dead, but I will give you life.” That is what is proclaimed here, and it is the only way that the world can be saved take away this summons, and make something else of it, something smaller, less than the absolute whole, less than the absolute ultimate, or less than the absolutely powerful, and you have taken away all, the unique, the last hope there is for us on earth.
~ Karl Barth, “Jesus if Victor.” In Come Holy Spirit, 148-50.