You probably don’t remember or even know the name Nikolai Ivanovich Boukhari. He was, in his day, one of the most powerful men on Earth. He was a communist. Leader who participated in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He was the editor of Pravda, the Soviet newspaper. Pravda, by the way, means truth. He was a full member of the Politburo. He was a powerful man.
The story is told of a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930. He went there to address a huge crowd on the topic of atheism. He stood before the assembly and aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity with insults, arguments, and reasons why it is not true. After about an hour, he looked over the crowd at what he thought were the smoldering embers of faith. Suddenly, he said to the crowd. Do you have any questions?
A man got up and walked up to the podium, stood beside the communist leader, he looked over the crowd from left to right, and then said boldly, “Christ is risen.” With that ancient greeting of the church, the whole assembly rose as one and shouted back the response, “he is risen, indeed.”
An hour of argument and insult had been undone with one simple statement. Christ is risen. How could that be? Why could that one statement have such power? It’s because everything that Christianity believes hinges on the resurrection. If Jesus truly died and rose again, then Christianity is true. If Jesus died and rose again, that means everything that Jesus said is true. So he is the Savior. He is the one who bore men’s sins so that they could be forgiven. He is the one who has face God’s anger over sin. So that God would be reconciled to mankind.
Yes, Christ is risen. That means your sins are forgiven. That means there is peace between you and God. That means you’re going to be in heaven one day. So when you are doubting, when your faith is just smoldering embers, take up that ancient greeting of the church: Christ is risen. And allow it to fan your faith into a bright bushfire. So that all may see. May the Peace of Christ’s resurrection fill your hearts. Because God certainly exists. And loves you. Amen.