The Enduring Message of Easter

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It’s time to renew hope and faith in our country

As Christians all over the world today mark Easter, rejoicing over the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Nigerians must resolve to imbibe the ideals that speak to the season. With our country increasingly torn apart by hate, violence and all manner of social strains, our streets and alleyways are now overrun by kidnappers, bandits, hired assassins, armed robbers and sundry assortments of trouble makers. More than at any period in our recent history, this Easter season offers a unique opportunity to identify the enduring values on which to build a new order of justice, service, peace, respect for human dignity and mutual understanding.

Commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the redemption wrought for Christians on the cross of Calvary is significant. But the essence of the occasion should not be limited to adherents of the faith alone. It is a time for all Nigerians to reflect on what is wrong with us as we witness, almost on a daily basis, a mindless orgy of violence that has put our nation under a serious siege. Easter provides a unique opportunity to interrogate the killings, the maiming, the banditry and other forms of bloodletting while working for solutions to the challenges they present.

Underscoring the significance of the season, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, Geoffrey Smith, says the world continues to witness the darkness of Covid-19, racism, domestic violence, gender inequality, etc. But Christians, according to Smith, are called to be lights into all these manifestations of darkness. “The death and resurrection of Jesus is the reason we know that there is an answer to the darkness and brokenness of this world. There is hope and salvation. There is a light that cannot be overcome,” says Smith. This is a message that will serve us in our country.

Nigerians are invited to emulate the exemplary life of humility, self-abnegation, forbearance and self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ who submitted himself to death on the Cross. As a people, we must begin to replicate that sort of sacrifice for the common good, which is the true meaning of Easter. For us in Nigeria, especially at a time like this, we need to erect effective bulwarks against the current impulse to violence and unbridled individualism. Those at the helm of affairs should also begin to realise that politics is essentially about rendering service to the people.

On a special day such as this, it is important to remember that Christ spent his whole life and ministry with the poor, the weak and the oppressed. He shared their anxieties, their hopes and their aspirations. He fed the hungry from the finest wheat; and he healed the sick, consoled the sorrowful and wept for the dead. These are the attributes worthy of emulation by leaders and indeed all Nigerians as we celebrate Easter. More importantly, the new wave of insecurity and spilling of blood in our country is a further invitation to all compatriots to join hands in building a new civilisation of love that eschews hatred, violence, rancor and acrimony across the divides.

While Easter Sunday is important to Christians, its message of salvation through faith is the essence of hope, regardless of one’s religious persuasion. Friday’s death on the cross and today’s resurrection after three days in the grave symbolises for Christians the ultimate victory of life over death. The risen Christ brought to the world hope, faith and love and adherents are enjoined to always seek love. If humanity would only heed that message, this world would be a better place to live. So, on this Easter Sunday, we invite all Nigerians to renew hope and faith in our country while relating with others with love. May Easter awaken in each of us true joy shown in dedicated service and love for our fellow country men and women.

We wish all our readers a Happy Easter!

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Easter provides a unique opportunity to interrogate the killings, the maiming, the banditry and other forms of bloodletting while working for solutions to the challenges they present