LESSONS OF EASTER
Today is Easter Sunday, the most spiritually significant day in the Christian liturgical year. It marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. As a result of the significance of this religious feast, Christians across the world, including teeming faithful in Nigeria are, today, celebrating the event in churches with songs, thanksgiving and sober reflection on the profound lessons that Easter offers.
The joy in the celebration of Easter finds its true meaning in the trial, humiliation, subsequent death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the progenitor of the Christian faith. If the death of Jesus was to break the shackles of sin through atonement by his blood on the cross of Calvary, his resurrection is seen as the ultimate victory and triumph over sin bought for mankind at a costly price. It is for this reason that Christians all over the world see Easter not just as a mark of hope, but a celebration of Christ's love for humanity demonstrated in the sacrificial laying down of his life for the redemption of mankind.
Clearly, there is no higher, nobler, or more perfect example worthy of emulation than what Jesus Christ did. The abiding lesson of his life, trials, crucifixion and resurrection is refreshingly captured in the exemplary attributes of unqualified love, selflessness and sacrifice. These are, by all standards, essential elements of leadership, which would place leaders everywhere in good stead to serve the people if only they can embrace them.
The abiding lesson of Easter resonates in the truth that a life that is self-centred and bears little or no fruits for the good of the larger society is un-Christlike. Unfortunately, society at large is fast losing touch with the virtues which Jesus Christ exemplified in life, and death. These values, which are meant to hold society together like a glue through selfless service, humility and tolerance of one another, are rapidly losing their essence, especially among those in leadership positions. In our country today, this trend has become alarming as many of those in positions of authority, instead of living for, and working for all through policies that will uplift the people, are self-centred and corrupt, vitiating the core values of Easter.
The need to return to moderation, morality, sacrifice, steadfastness and leadership by example, the core values that can advance the progress of society, has become very urgent. Easter affords both the leadership and the people of Nigeria the unique opportunity to realise and fulfill their different roles in society. For the leaders, Easter should resonate more because it provides them a rare example in servant-leadership, hard work and selfless devotion to the people.
We urge Christian faithful across the world to refocus their minds on spiritual revival. Let them reject selfishness, greed and intolerance, and instead, embrace the altruistic values of Jesus Christ. The beauty and profundity of Easter can best blossom in an atmosphere of reconciliation and forgiveness. Let there be unity of purpose, moral regeneration and an entirely new, wholesome disposition to life and to one another, as exemplified by Christ.
Let today be spent largely on sober reflection. Let all Nigerians use this opportunity to assess and recognise one another's obligations, both to their creator, and the society at large. It needs to be stressed that every citizen of our country, irrespective of his religion, state, sex or family background, has equal right and liberty for the pursuit of his dream within the bounds of decency and legitimacy. Overall, this Easter is a major challenge to all Christians to demonstrate good-naturedness and respect for our shared humanity and belief in one God. Let us all strive to emulate Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!