“Thou Hast Conquered, Oh Thou Galilean”

“But if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them, lest perhaps you be found even fighting against God.”

— Acts 5:39

After the conversion of Constantine, he allowed for the freedom of the Christian church for the first time in its existence. The Christians could crawl out of the catacombs and actually build buildings where they could publicly worship Jesus. It was a glorious time for the church after 300 years of persecution.

But a few decades after Emperor Constantine’s death, there arose a ruler from his own family who tried to turn his back on Christianity and make the Roman empire solidly pagan. His name was Julian the Apostate.

By rejecting Jesus, Julian the Apostate made a wreck of his life, but thankfully his reign was short-lived. It is said that he was wounded in battle, and as he lay dying, sinking into the sand, he picked up a handful of sand filled with his own blood and threw it into the sky and said, “Thou hast conquered, Oh Thou Galilean” and thus, Julian’s work perished with him. Attempting to overthrow the Christian religion by writing a book against it, he inadvertently ended up confirming most of its basic historic tenants.

Our faith is built upon a solid rock that neither pagan nor demon can overthrow. Yes, there have been small clouds that have come and obscured the sun for a moment. “Julian was such a cloud,” said Athanasius, the great defender of the faith. But the cloud, as he said, “…it is a little cloud, it passes away.” The sun, however, continues to shine in its brightness in the sky, and so it is with Christ.

Lord, give me strength to endure the godless cry of pagans and persecutors, knowing that they are but clouds before the sun…