Since the earliest days of the Christian Church, there is a greeting Christians have used on Easter. It began in the Greek language. The first person would say, “Christos anesti!” Then the other person would respond, “Alithos anesti!”
“Christ is risen!”
“He is risen indeed!”
Around the world on Easter morning, Christians from every tribe and language greet each other with those words. “¡Cristo ha resucitado! ¡De veras ha resucitado!”(Spanish) “Christus ist auferstanden! Er is warhaftig auferstanden!”(German) “Kristus vstal z mrtvých! Vpravdě vstal z mrtvých!” (Czech) “基督復活了他確實復活了“ (Chinese)
The story is told of a man named Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin, one of the most powerful men in early Communist Russia. In 1930, he went to Kiev to address a huge crowd on Easter Sunday. The subject, of course, was atheism. He attacked Christianity as a fraud. He pointed out the foolishness of faith. His talk was both eloquent and powerful. By the end, he was confident he had convinced the crowd of the errors of Christianity.
When he finished, an old man walked on to the stage and congratulated Bukharin for his eloquence. Then he turned to the crowd and quietly said, “Christos voskres“ (Christ is risen). To that, the crowd of thousands thundered, “Voistinu voskres!“ (He is risen indeed!).
I can’t prove that Jesus rose. Sure, over 500 people saw him alive after his resurrection, but they could have been making it up. His disciples could have stolen his body. There is no empirical proof Jesus rose from the dead. The only real historical evidence we have that he ever lived is the Bible. I cannot prove Jesus died on a cross and rose again.
Yet I believe it. I believe the testimony of the men and women who saw the nail marks in his hands and feet. I believe that the Bible is God’s true and never changing Word. I believe that because the Holy Spirit convinces me as I read and hear it.
As Christians we sometimes feel we need to prove we are right. We need to prove that God is real and what we believe is true. The truth is, however, you can’t prove it. You can’t argue someone into believing it. The only way to accept it is by faith. Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.
On the other hand, those who reject God’s Word have not and will never be able to prove it to be false either. They cannot win. God’s Word cannot be silenced. The truth about Jesus, his cross and his resurrection will be spoken until the day Jesus comes in the end of the world.
The atheist movement in our country is growing rapidly. Those who believe God to be a lie are gaining influence and want to silence Christianity. We don’t need to worry, though. We don’t need to get angry and argue with them. They can’t win. Besides, you can’t debate someone into faith. Just stand up and speak out. Speak the truth in love. Share the simple, powerful message: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”