Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin was a Russian Communist leader who took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917. He became 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 scorned, mocked, belittled, and attempted to demolish the validity and truth of Christianity, hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.
An hour later he was finished. He looked out at the pitiful, battered and bruised crowd.
“Are there any questions?” Bukharin sneered.
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, and then came the thunderous response:
“HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
Some years ago, an eminent professor from Moscow University 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.
There’s a story told about a little girl who one day was restless and fidgeting. Her father was trying to read his newspaper, but was being constantly interrupted by his young daughter.
To amuse her, her dad tore a map of the world from the paper he was attempting to read. He then cut the page into small pieces.
“Here’s a jigsaw puzzle” he told the little girl, “Why not sit down somewhere quiet and put it together”
The youngster whose knowledge of geography was pretty limited, went to work on the map and, to her father’s amazement, soon had it reassembled.
“How did you do it so quickly?” he asked her.
“Oh it was easy” she replied, “There’s a picture of a man on the other side. I put the man together and the world came out right!”
If we truly believe in the power of God and that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life – put back together, as it were, on Easter day – then one day the world in all its difficulty and brokenness, will come out all right.
Christ will triumph. The victory will be his Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!