A great story of faith comes out from the communist-era Russia.
Nikolai Ivannovich Bukharin was a powerful man in the Politburo of the Soviet Union. He was the editor of the national newspaper, Pravda, and a soldier in the Bolshevic Revolution in 1917. In 1930 he travelled to the Soviet city of Kiev to address a huge assembly of workers. His topic was atheism. For over an hour he hurled insult, argument and proof against God and His claim to be the Creator of the world. By the end of his speech the large crowd was cowered, beaten and fearful. Gazing around the room for several moments in triumph, he finally asked, “Are there any questions?” Deafening silence answered his challenge and every eye was lowered to the floor. But then an old man began to shuffle to the platform. He struggled up the steps and finally stood next to Bukharin. Slowly he surveyed the crowd. Then he raised his arm upward and cried out an ancient Russian Orthodox greeting, “Christ is risen”. En masse the crowd leapt to their feet and in voices that rolled like thunder they shouted back,“He is risen indeed”.
On this Easter day when we remember His rise and resurrection, I thank those who have lived before us who fought life's final war with pain and becoming the testimony of light so we can face tomorrow with no fear. This is all because He lives.