Illustration: Easter, Resurrection

In his day, Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin was one of the most powerful men on earth. Bukharin was a Russian Communist leader who took part in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda and was a member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science were big sellers.

A story is 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 smoldering ashes of men's faith. "Are there any questions?" Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium, but then one man stood. 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!"

I say to you this morning: CHRIST IS RISEN!