Probably none of us will know the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, who is largely forgotten now. But during his time he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today.
There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd, he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.
An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smouldering ashes of men’s faith. “Are there any questions?” Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to the left then to the right. Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church:
“CHRIST IS RISEN!”
En masse, the crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder:
“HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
A Professor from Moscow University some years ago said that religion in Russia was virtually dead and that he claimed “There is no one in the Churches, except a few little old ladies”
Well, these so-called “little old ladies” have seen off the Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Gorbachev. The little old ladies have won – and it is most likely that what sustained them was their abiding hope in the living Christ – the one who is and always will be the Resurrection and the Life.
No one and nothing can defeat him: no political system, no military dictator, no communist, no fascist – nobody.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
He was dead and he was buried. Then on the third day, he rose from the dead and is alive forever more
And the world has never been the same since.