“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.” ~Nicolas Klein

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~Jesus

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”~Abraham Lincoln

Easter–Resurrection Sunday–is the pinnacle of the Christian calendar, a moment of celebration over death, hell and the grave. Yet it comes only three days after the darkest moment in history, when dark winds blew, the earth shook, the Lamb of God was brutally crushed, crying out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Crushed, broken and lifeless, our Lord’s body was marred beyond recognition. The cross was and is a stark reminder of how vile, ruthless and hateful people can be when they are driven by demon forces. The Resurrection is a reminder that roses bloom from thorny stems.

Let’s face it: the American political culture of 2020 is every bit as brutal as the Roman culture during the time Christ walked the earth. Then, men armed with crude tools flogged and tortured Jesus before crucifying him on a cross of wood—a slow, merciless death. Today, men and women, armed with press badges and the refined tools of media, have subjected President Trump to 3 years and 4 months of relentless pain and suffering.

Let’s face it: the American political culture of 2020 is every bit as brutal as the Roman culture during the time Christ walked the earth.

After Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation came up empty, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, cheered on the mainstream media mob, engaged in the equivalent of a political crucifixion—impeachment. This “circus” attempt backfired and actually raised Trump’s poll numbers.

As the New Year arrived, no doubt the Democrats were beginning to ask themselves what sort of man this Donald Trump is that he could remain so undaunted and emerge ever stronger with each trial of fire they put him through.

To them, he must seem like a modern-day version of the notorious Rasputin, that horrifying, almost mythical, figure of the Russian revolution.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a RasputinRussian mystic and self-proclaimed holy man who befriended the family of Emperor Nicholas II and who eventually was assassinated in 1916 by conspirators who believed him to be “the anti-Christ.” After initially surviving knife wounds in the stomach, eating cakes laced with cyanide, suffering three gunshot wounds (one at close range to the forehead), a slice wound to his left side, and many other injuries, he finally drowned under ice in the Malaya Nevka River.

Rasputin, by all accounts, was a madman, killed by nobles trying to save their country. Trump, by all accounts, is a noble, a Christian, targeted by madmen who seem bent on destroying their country. The mainstream media mob (MMM) are indeed mad, suffering from TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), a malady every bit as real as the COVID-19 virus. Many attempts have been made at Trump’s political life. Yet he lives on.

Rasputin’s final demise was to drown in a frozen river. The Democrats at the MMM are hoping and praying that the COVID-19 scourge is Trump’s frozen river encounter.

I have a feeling Trump is not going to drown in the COVID-19 crisis. I say this because I believe he is on a mission from God to turn our country around, strengthen her foundations and create a platform for revival. God’s got his back.

Donald J. Trump arrived in the nick of time. When all hope seemed lost and we stood at the precipice of irreversible national decline, he emerged over the horizon, an unlikely candidate looking like a knight in shining armor to many, riding a proverbial white horse, pledging his life to save America.

Every nation reaches the point of impending disaster, when someone has to pay the price to stop the madness. There is Biblical precedence.  The Hebrew prophet, Ezekiel, declared God’s warning to a nation at the brink of destruction:

The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yea, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.”

Someone needs to step in and take the hit. I believe President Trump, in a curiously prophetic way, is that someone for America, in this exact point of time, amidst this crisis. The great irony should not be lost on anyone that when Trump declared a couple of weeks ago his “aspiration” that the we would be at the place where Christians across the country might be able to meet on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, all hell broke loose. This was the “crucify him” moment for Trump. The MMM went completely berserk. This whole scene is laced with metaphorical undertones.

 I would like to offer to you that what Jesus did in the macro, we must do, on a daily basis in the micro. He stood in the gap for the whole human race, and we must stand in the gap for those around us.

Our Easter Lesson

The Christian understanding of the Easter story is simple: Jesus came to earth on a mission to live among us, suffer with us, and eventually save us from ourselves. His ultimate act of salvation was to be brutally tortured and killed as he stood in the gap for us. History shows that his suffering was not in vain. The testimony of hundreds of millions of changed lives and adoring worshipers resonate love for the suffering Savior of the world.

I would like to offer to you that what Jesus did in the macro, we must do, on a daily basis, in the micro. He stood in the gap for the whole human race, and we must stand in the gap for those around us. We must meet hatred and violence with love where we find it. We must take the risk and get involved. We must, if necessary, embrace suffering to save our neighbor.

A Roman soldier who stood at the foot of the cross as Jesus was dying, mockingly said  “He saved others, but himself he cannot save.” The by-stander was right.

But if the Easter story tells us anything, it tells us that the sacrificial investment of one life—or one action– for a good cause, yields a great profit. Roses do grow from thorny stems.