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Easter: Reasons Christians have to celebrate and be happy

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Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins

As Christians in Nigeria join others to celebrate Easter today, clerics count the many gains of the season, despite socio-economic challenges.
CHRIS IREKAMBA and
IJEOMA THOMAS-ODIA report.

Christ’s Resurrection Overshadows Our Challenges’
(The Rt. Revd. Isaac C. Nwaobia, Bishop of Isiala Ngwa South (Anglican Communion)
JESUS’ death and resurrection offered us a second chance to be good persons.

By His death, we have been cleansed from our sins, hence a heart of thanksgiving. Unarguably, any Christian conscious of heaven should know that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the issue of heaven is just a myth.

So, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ anchors our hope, hence we should reciprocate by thanking Him for doing for us what no man could have done.

When He died, our sinful nature died with Him and when He resurrected we also resurrected with Him unto glory. Whoever that died with Him should not put on the old nature of sin, which was nailed on the cross.

The blood that was shed on the cross of Calvary washed away our sins and made us new persons, that is to say without shedding of blood, there will be no cleansing and without death there will be no resurrection.

The present afflictions or challenges in Nigeria such as non-payment of salaries, herdsmen attacks and bad governance are minor. The resurrection joy overshadows all our problems, hence joy unlimited.

Indeed, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter) offers any believer a second chance of living glorious and triumphant life.

‘Christians Have Reasons To Celebrate In Spite Of Hardships’
(His Grace, Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, Catholic Archbishop of Lagos)

CERTAINLY, Christians have a lot to celebrate. First of all, the gift of Jesus Christ to the world is by itself worthy of celebration, no matter what else is happening around us.

As Jesus came and took us out of the darkness of sins and death, this is superior to whatever is happening around us. 

Christians also have the duty to celebrate for the fact that they are alive in spite of the hardships and difficulties. That we manage to get by them is something to celebrate.

But then, we cannot wish away the troubles around us. They are forced to acknowledge that there are difficulties that have been foisted on us, not by Jesus Christ but ourselves as human beings, but God has been faithful to us all.

Also, celebrations such as this give us the chance to call on those who have responsibilities of leading the nation; those who are in government that Christ died in a selfless way and, therefore, it is expected that whether Christians or Muslims, they should also offer themselves in a selfless way for the good of the people that voted them into power.

They have the responsibility of serving selflessly and remember that whatever they do here will be accounted for on the last day and so, it is in their interest to serve right for the good of their souls by fulfilling the purposes of which they were called into office. 

‘Nothing Will Stop Christians From
Celebrating As Long As We’re Breathing’
(His Eminence Dr. Samuel Uche, Prelate, Methodist Church Nigeria)

WE are not celebrating Nigeria. Rather, we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, we have every reason to celebrate and to commemorate, not only the resurrection but also the death.

So, whether there is food or not, we must celebrate Jesus. Indeed, there is nothing that will stop us Christians from celebrating, as long as we have our heads above our shoulders.

As long as we’re breathing, we must celebrate Jesus. So, the essence of Easter is to commemorate the victory over sin, victory over death, victory over Satan, victory over human oppression, victory over evil, and victory over man’s inhumanity to man. The main essence of celebrating Easter is that Jesus overcame death.

So, whether the economy is good or not, Christians are not after that. What Easter reminds us of is that, with Jesus on the throne, every evil has expiry date.

The current situation should not discourage Nigerians, as it is a passing phase and very soon, we will overcome it. If Jesus resurrected from the dead after He was crucified, then we will overcome every situation that seems uncomfortable to us.

‘Political/Economic Challenges Will Help Us Appreciate Beauty Of Easter’
(Dr. Cosmas Ilechukwu, General Overseer, Charismatic Renewal Ministries, Worldwide)

EASTER is arguably the greatest of all Christian festivals, because of the two momentous events we commemorate during the feast, namely, the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, which we commemorate on Good Friday and His resurrection from death, which we celebrate on Easter Sunday.

Jesus’ resurrection gives meaning to the Christian faith, lends authenticity to the Messiahship of Jesus, and validates His salvific intervention on earth to accomplish the salvation of humankind.

Understandably, therefore, Easter, unlike other Christian feasts, is celebrated with sobriety, as we reflect with joyful awe on the mystery of our redemption.

Christians will celebrate the feast with joy, irrespective of the present adverse economic and political situation in the country.

Easter signals the hope that our nation will rise to be great again. The hard economic realty prevalent in the country now and its concomitant political uncertainty, worsened by rampaging and murderous herdsmen, can only affect the marginal aspects of the festival, such as free movements of people and conviviality.

The core essence of Easter, which is offering thanks to God for His unparalleled act of love in sacrificing His only begotten Son for world’s salvation and raising Him from death, is not affected by our changing socio-economic reality.

The political and economic challenges we are currently facing in Nigeria will, as a matter of fact, help us to appreciate the beauty of Easter.

As the suffering and brutal death of Jesus eventually got overshadowed by the joy of His resurrection, so shall our present difficulties, as a people, accentuate our appreciation of the coming new day of our rising.

I pray that all Nigerians, Christians and non-Christians, will celebrate this Easter with joy and peace because Jesus died to destroy enmity within the human family and returned to life to bring us all together into one big family of love, the family of God devoid of all forms of discriminations.

‘Jesus Christ Is The Source Of Our Joy, Not Our Material Possession’
(His Grace, Most Revd. Emmanuel Josiah Udofia, Primate of the African Church)

THE joy of every Christian does not depend on individual acquisition of wealth.

The joy of every Christian depends on his /her own personal relationship with the Lordship of Jesus Christ because He is the source of our joy.

Look at the entire society, for instance, there are things you may discover you are not happy with and in that case, if you were to trust in the world system, there is that tendency for somebody to say, ‘No, I can’t believe in this.’

But since our trust is in God and His Son Jesus Christ, we have every reason to rejoice, knowing too well that what no man can do, God can do it.

No matter the country’s situation, God in His mercy can turn things around for His own good and to the glory of His name. We know that without God there would have been no nation called Nigeria. So then, whatever happens in Nigeria God has a blueprint by His grace.

If Nigerians would adhere to them, I believe the country would become a reference point. So, no matter the political or economic downturn in the country, Christians have hope and reason to be happy, especially when we remember what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary.

Christians have reasons to celebrate, not only during Easter but every day of their lives. When we look up to Jesus Christ, the Bible makes us to understand that with God all things are possible that is, whatever is impossible with men, it is possible with God and again, we all know that we are His creatures.

The Psalmist says, ‘since I was young till now that I am getting old I have never seen the righteous being forsaken nor his children begging bread’ Psalm 37:5.

Again in Ps 27:19, that in the time of evil the children of God will never be ashamed. Also, Ps 37:19 tells us that during famine, the children of God shall be satisfied.

So, during evil time, God He will never allow His own to be put to shame. Again, whether there is famine or recession, the children of God will surely be satisfied.

‘Easter Is A Sure Promise Of Victory From Day-to-Day’
(Most Rev. Dr. Ephraim Ademowo, Bishop of Lagos/Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

PEOPLE of God, Easter and its message are not all future tense, as many suppose.

It is not something totally unrelated to life here and now. Christ, Who is living and not dead, intended that Easter should mean so much.

He means that we should let this Easter glory get its grip on us and motivate us to some high end. It means that it is not for us to be cringing in front of some anxiety or overwhelmed by disaster.

He means that Easter shall prevent us from chasing shadows, because Easter is a sure promise of victory from day to day. We can face tomorrow, whatever it brings.

The blessings and message of Easter combine to encourage us to live courageously from day-to-day, doing great things with and in Christ. None of our situations is unknown to Christ.

Nigeria’s situation is not unknown to Him. The story of our life, whether tragic or comic, is like a bud with bitter taste, which will end up with the sweetness and blossoming of the flower.

Our attitudes can be revived, while solutions should be provided to the socio-economic crises, insecurity, wrong perception of ourselves and other evil vices plaguing our nation.

All Nigerians must play their parts in being god citizens. We must be God-fearing, hardworking and responsible as citizens.

As we celebrate the Easter, let us for the sake of God Almighty and our fatherland, accede to the principles for which Christ died, rose and ascended.

Therefore, victory of Easter should lead us to face life perplexities with fortitude, holding up our banner with the assurance that because He lives, we too shall live. And it shall be well with our soul.


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