He Is Risen Indeed
Nerva, succeeding Domitian, gave a respite to the sufferings of the christians; but reigning only thirteen months, his successor Trajan, in the tenth year of his reign A. D. 108, began the third persecution against the christians. While the persecution raged, Pliny 2d, a heathen philosopher wrote to the emperor in favor of the Christians; to whose epistle Trajan returned this indecisive answer: “The christians ought not to be sought after, but when brought before the magistracy, they should be punished.” Trajan, however, soon after wrote to Jerusalem, and gave orders to his officers to exterminate the stock of David; in consequence of which, all that could be found of that race were put to death.
Just as Christ Himself was hunted down as a child by Herod to be killed, and the believers of times past have been hunted down and killed, so also we will be hunted down to be tortured and killed. But just as He is risen, the faith goes on. We need not be ashamed.
He is risen.