March 27, 2016 – Happy Easter Sunday 2016!!
Easter, the celebration that marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary and death, is the most important event in Christendom, the principal and greatest feast of the ecclesiastical year. It is the belief of adherents to the Faith that if Jesus had not resurrected on the third day as He promised, maybe Christianity itself would have faced a tremendous challenge of credibility. Easter strengthens the average Christian’s belief in life everlasting.
Its importance can be gleaned from the fact that Christmas, an event that is the first step in the salvation journey, is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. As the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year, the order of other feasts depends upon the Easter date. It is the commemoration of the slaying of the true Lamb of God and the resurrection of Christ, the cornerstone upon which faith is built, the oldest feast of the Christian Church and the connection between the Old and New Testaments.
The connection between the Jewish Passover and the Christian feast of Easter is real and ideal. Real, since Christ died on the first Jewish Easter Day; ideal, like the relation between type and reality, because Christ’s death and resurrection have their figures and types in the Old Law, particularly in the paschal lamb.
Preparation for Easter, for a section of the Christian world, begins on Ash Wednesday and goes through 40 days of praying and fasting that ends on Good Friday. Within this Easter season is the Holy Week, the apogee of the whole spiritual exercise during which Jesus instituted the Priestly Order, the Last Supper also known as the Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist and brought to an end His earthly life when He pronounced on the Cross of Calvary that “It is finished” and the beginning of man’s effort to be like the Master. Easter offers believers an opportunity to appreciate the enormity of the contradiction embedded in St Paul’s assertion that “to die is gain”. That Jesus died and is glorified within the Easter period offers believers a unique time to reflect on the immensity of the mystery of life everlasting.
As the apostles of Jesus celebrated His defeat of death, so also are Nigerians hoping to rise above the years of despondency to those of excitement and a new lease of life, as promised by the present administration.