Reading Mark Together – Chapter 16 A New Beginning …

There is a story told of a man named Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin.

But during his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. As Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today.

There is a story 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 insults, argument, and proof against it. An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of faith. “Are there any questions?” Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. 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:


That first Easter morning the women and then the men visited the tomb and found the stone rolled away. That stone that had symbolised so powerfully the end of life and hope and future. All was lost as that stone was rolled across the tomb. It was the final moment of the reality of the death of the one they loved and who had brought love, life and hope to them.

That first Easter morning the stone was rolled away. The barrier between death and life was gone. The barrier between despair and hope was removed. The barrier between brokenness and wholeness was destroyed.

That first Easter God moved the stone, and he still moves stones today. Is there something that stands between you and life, between you and hope, between you and wholeness, between you and God? God still moves stones today. Ask and you shall receive, seek and you will find , knock and the door will be opened. So this Easter day let us ask God to remove all that stands between us and life, hope, wholeness and himself.

Alleluia Christ is RISEN!
He IS RISEN Indeed Alleluia!

We’ve got to the end of our journey through Mark. Well done. My hope and prayer is that each of us has done more than read words, but we’ve heard the author speak to us himself. I also pray that if you’ve never read the bible daily before you won’t stop. Reading the Bible each day is one of the best, and most important, foundations to living the life as an apprentice of Jesus.



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