Christians the world over today celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Easter is unarguably the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. It is usually observed at the end of Lent, a period of 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Christ’s death and subsequent resurrection reconciled mankind to God. His coming would have been in vain if He did not die and resurrect from the dead. His victory over death is a victory for Christendom. In Nigeria, the Christian faithful will expectedly commemorate the feast with masses and prayers in churches. They will also partake in the usual eating and drinking as well as other forms of merriment associated with this important Christian feast.
While Christ’s resurrection is being marked with great pomp and revelry, the Christian faithful should not lose sight of its overall spiritual significance. Beyond the culinary pleasures associated with the feast, let all Christians remember the sacrifice embedded in Christ leaving His exalted heavenly abode to come and die for the sins of mankind.
That is the significance of the feast. The import of Christ’s humility in accepting to die for the sins of others on the Cross of Calvary should ever remain fresh in the psyche of all Christians. Easter is also a period of self-sacrifice, self-abnegation, love and forgiveness. As Christ redeemed mankind from eternal damnation, so should all Christians strive to be Christ-like in relating with other people. They should let Christian ethics, as enunciated in the teachings of Christ, be the touchstone of their daily living. We call on all Christians to live the life of Christ during the Easter season and thereafter.
They should emulate Christ and show compassion to their fellow human beings, especially the less privileged, the aged, the weak and the poor. They should use the occasion to visit the sick, those in prison as well as the needy. Christians should use the teachings and examples of Jesus Christ in their relationship with their fellow Christians as well as people of other faiths.
The Christian life is a call to service and sacrifice even if it entails paying the supreme sacrifice for the sake of others. Let our leaders use this period to demonstrate the teachings of Christ. Christians in positions of leadership should, like Christ, show compassion, love and care for those they swore to serve. As Christ washed the feet of his disciples and attended to their daily needs, so should our leaders attend to the needs of those they lead. In other words, our leaders should lead by example, and not by mere precepts. They should be exemplary in all that they do. We use this occasion to call on all political leaders, irrespective of their creed, to rule with the fear of God.
They should see their position as a call to service to God and humanity. They should not use their offices to amass wealth or deprive the masses of the goodies which governance is expected to bestow on them. It is regrettable that we have not seen much of Christ’s examples in many of our leaders. Some of these leaders treat the citizenry with contempt and condescension. Some are more interested in the perks and perquisites of office than how to better the lot of the people. This Easter comes at a most trying period for Nigeria.
General insecurity has become the order of the day in the country. Recent Easter festivities were celebrated amidst fear of bombing of Christian places of worship in some parts of Northern Nigeria as a result of the festering Boko Haram insurgency. The current celebration is not an exception. We call on all the people perpetrating such violence in the country to have a change of heart and desist from criminality.
They should bear in mind that no country achieves the desired level of human and economic development under a charged and tension-soaked atmosphere as we have presently. Let all insurgents in the country use this occasion to lay down their arms and embrace peace and dialogue, which is the best way to settle whatever grievances they have against the state. We wish all Christian faithful a happy Easter celebration.