He is Risen Ineed!
by Jenny Kilgour 20 May 2020
“BORIS IS OUT” shouted The Sun, the day after the Prime Minister was moved from intensive care back onto a ward. “( Now that really is a Good Friday)” it continued. Not that I wished the PM ill, but in its parenthetical comment I felt The Sun put his move from the ICU at St Thomas’s hospital in London on a par with the Easter story of Christ’s death and resurrection.
The story is told of the Russian Nikolai Bukharin,who by 1929 was arguably one of the most powerful men alive. He had already dispatched many clergy to Siberia. To continue the work of denouncing the faith of Russian Christians, one morning in 1930, Bukharin boarded the train from Moscow to address thousands of workers in the public square in Kiev. For an hour he harangued the crowd, hurling arguments and ridicule against Christianity. Eventually he stopped, convinced he had reduced the people’s faith to ashes.
“Are there any questions?” he demanded amid deafening silence. Then one older man, a priest, began a slow steady pace to the front. Standing alongside the communist leader, and mustering all his strength, he shouted the ancient Easter greeting known well in the Orthodox Church, “Christos anesti” - “Christ is risen!” - and with one voice the crowd responded, the sound reverberating like thunder around the square, “Alethos anesti” - “He is risen indeed!”
We are still in the season of Easter. Had we been able to worship together, we might well have been using those traditional Easter responses during services up to Ascension Day, which is tomorrow.
Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthian church: “If Christ has not been raised, our faith is worthless” (1 Corinthians 15: 17b). We can have confidence in the Gospel, the Good News that Christ is indeed risen! And, what’s more, he loves us.
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