It’s Easter! The 47- day journey of fasting, prayer and almsgiving have given way to shouts of Hal­leluyah, Hosana in the Highest! The son of God, who assumed human flesh to redeem man from mortal sin is has conquered death.
He is risen, Halleluyah. Glory to God in the highest and peace to men of goodwill; peace to leaders whose pri­ority is selfless service to the people; peace to heads of ministries and parastatals, whose pri­ority is service to the people: no nepotism, no tribalism, no favou­ritism. Is this possible in Nigeria? Some say it is a far cry, others say it is possible, but the doing has to start from the Presidential Villa, because the buck stops there.

Concerning the very topic of Easter, experts writing in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says Easter, which is equally called “Res­urrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday celebrating the resur­rection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It is described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial (Good Friday) after his cru­cifixion by Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, pre­ceded by Lent a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance” ending on Palm Sunday. The seven days of Holy Week, takes us to the Easter Sunday, aggre­gating to 47 days from the Ash Wednesday.

The week after Palm Sunday, that is, the days before Easter Sunday is called Holy Week. It is also lithurgically referred to as the Eas­ter Triduum, taking its peack from the Maundy Thursday, commemo­rating the Last Supper, and then the Good Fri­day, commemorating the arrest, trial, cruci­fixion and death of Jesus Christ, up to Holy Sat­urday, a day in which no mass is celebrated in the Catholic calendar. It is a day of solitude, because Christ is in the grave, awaiting resurrection, which ushers in the sal­vation of man.

Wikipedia writes that “in western Chris­tianity, Eastertide, the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, end­ing with the coming of the 50th day, Pentecost Sunday. In Orthodoxy, the season of Pascha be­gins on Pascha and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the Feast of the Ascension.

“Easter and the holi­days that are related to it are moveable feasts which do not fall on a fixed date in the Gre­gorian or Julian calen­dars which follow only the cycle of the sun; rather, its date is deter­mined on a lunisolar calendar similar to the Hebrew calendar. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established two rules, independence of the Jewish calendar and worldwide uniformity, which were the only rules for Easter explic­itly laid down by the council.

“Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its posi­tion in the calendar. In many languages, the words for “Easter” and “Passover” are identical or very similar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, and in­clude sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church, and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb.

The Easter lily, a symbol of the resurrection, tradi­tionally decorates the chancel area of churches on this day and for the rest of Eastertide. Addi­tional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades. There are also various tradi­tional Easter foods that vary regionally”.

“The New Testament states that the resur­rection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. The res­urrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is cited as proof that God will judge the world in righ­teousness. For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, ‘death is swallowed up in victory’. Any per­son who chooses to follow Jesus receives ‘a new birth into a liv­ing hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’. Through faith in the working of God those who follow Jesus are spiritually resurrected with him so that they may walk in a new way of life and receive eter­nal salvation.

“One interpreta­tion of the Gospel of John is that Jesus, as the Passover lamb, was crucified at roughly the same time as the Pass­over lambs were being slain in the temple, on the afternoon of Nisan 14. The scriptural in­structions specify that the lamb is to be slain ‘between the two eve­nings’, that is, at twi­light. By the Roman period, however, the sacrifices were per­formed in the mid-af­ternoon”.

Hope you are enjoy­ing this Easter celebra­tion? How many places have you visited? How many people have you touched positively? Have you decided to toe the path of Jesus, laying down your life for other people to benefit? These are the lessons of Easter and it is up to us to truly be the follow­ers of Christ, which is what Christianity is all about. Happy Easter to our esteemed read­ers!

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