Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen Indeed

I am very grateful this Easter Sunday to be an orthodox Christian. I sought the Truth, and by God's grace found it. What I had to give up for that pearl of Great Price was much of what I thought at the time was myself. The Truth is greater than I, and therefore to give up ones self for the Truth is a noble bargain.

So what is truth? Two thousand years ago a Roman ruler named Pontius Pilate asked that very question. The irony was that Truth in human form was standing right there in front of him. Truth is a person. Know Him, and you will know the truth. Deny Him, and the wisdom of even a great land will turn to foolishness, as we have seen in our own rulers.

The power of the Holy Spirit can be dramatic, but I find most often it is subtle. So subtle that you may think that you are making no progress in the struggle against sin and calamity day by day. But then when you sit back and reflect on the years gone by you realize that God is not idle, He just operates with the patience of an immortal, as indeed He is.

God became Man. As God, He was the rightful King of mankind, but His Kingship was not on the outside. Rather it was in the very depths of the human heart. This challenge to the supremacy of the religious and political rulers of the day was not tolerated. God became Man, and the usurpers killed the Rightful King. He did not stay dead, but in so giving His life became not only Lord of the Doomed but Lord and Savior of the truly living.

Even though my personal life is a blessed one, when I look at the larger events of the day, I worry for the future. Still, compared to the position the apostles were in during the hours before that first Resurrection morning I guess we don't have it so bad here. America is in debt to foreign powers, but they were occupied by foreign powers. Heresy and apostasy are rampant in American churches, but the religious rulers of their day actually were behind the execution of the Messiah. And most of all, they thought he was dead then.

In the hours that followed they were to learn that He was risen. That knowledge helped turn them from a handful of peasants cowering in fear to the men who turned the earth upside down. Indeed, within three centuries the mighty Roman Empire, the destroyer of Jerusalem and ruler of the known world, would make Christianity the state religion, and the Emperor would bend his knees down and acknowledge Jesus Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Ultimately that did not save the government in Rome, whose gross sins and rampant corruption ascended into the very heavens. But even the "barbarians" who vanquished the Roman government were believers. They ended the Roman Empire, but birthed the "Holy Roman Empire", as well as a host of other nations who sired people that took the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth.

He is risen indeed.


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