By Rev. Br. Kenneth Chigozie Alamezie, Bss
While the situation in our world today suggests hopelessness, in the sense that we have dangerously sustained a creepy downward match on the alleyway to catastrophe, creating thus a rather enduring chaos rippling through almost all countries of the world, yet not all hope is lost. There is still hope, in as much as we can begin to see situations around us through the lenses of Hope–Christ Jesus, who is our hope of glory, hallelujah!
This is what I think the Easter celebration in its truest sense depicts. The resurrection of the Lord and savior Jesus Christ is symptomatic of hope shining out of hopelessness, light shining out of utter darkness, blessing springing forth from the debris of devastating situations imposed by curse and disappointment–curing thus the consequences of the age-long curse of the law–favor taking the place of fruitless toiling, and life trampling and swallowing death in eternal defeat, etc.
Apparently, ours is a blessed era, highly favored, seeing we have such a worthy high priest, and loving savior as Christ Jesus, who offered himself as a sacrificial lamb to God on our behalf to make all things new again, thereby perfecting once and for all the system once marred.
Thus, the joy of the season focuses on the assurance we have in him of our redemption from the curse as well as the consequent ideal sanctification and full restoration it offers, which benefits we are to enjoy both in this world and in the world to come. Yet, these he made possible by his ignominious death on the cross, showing, then the abounding benefits of death and cross.
For Christ redefined death by revealing through his own death that true and sustainable life can only come via death, which is true death to self. In addition, by carrying his own cross, and sanctifying it thus, he shows us that the latter is the surest path to gaining complete mastery over self, which positive effect leads to self-discovery and accordingly self-control.
As nobody takes up a cross in order to put up a good show of or with it, seeing that it is a symbol of crucifixion, so we are to take up our crosses with the sole aim of nailing self to it, to be precise crucifying the old rebellious nature, which is the lone way to achieving resurrection to newness of life.
This is paramount given that we are living in a world where speed is king, where moral depravity is being celebrated and promoted with rascality, and godly virtues quickly becoming as dung. We are living in a world torn apart by greed and unbridled lust for power, gain and fame, and which perceptible outcome is no more than economic terrorism and other sundry vices stabbing us in the face; a world where impunity reigns supreme, although every now and then we claim to be seeking eternal life and reign with the Just King. Ours is a world marred by violence and abuse; we abuse everything there is to abuse–sex, freedom, authority, wealth, just name it, the list goes on.
In view of all these, in order to make good and judicious use of the Easter celebration, which ambiance is still pretty fresh on us, it is our duty, then, to dispose ourselves to the spirit of the season as well as the lesson it carries. It would be vain celebration or mere ritual observance, if we fail to see the season for what it truly is, learn the lessons, richly rewarding, as they are, that it carries.
We are celebrating the resurrection of Christ today, because he actually gave himself up to death some two thousand and sixteen years ago. And this isn’t mere folklore, as it is a glaring truth. In the same vein, we are to go all out of our comfort zones, take up our crosses, and go meet him there at the foot of his own cross to experience our own crucifixion also. This crucifixion is no other than crucifixion to self as mentioned earlier. Also, the gain of this kind of crucifixion is no more than resurrection to newness of life. By resurrecting with Christ to newness of life, we get his mark put in our spirit by the sole action of the Holy Spirit, who then begins to live in and through us the life of Christ.
This is an entirely new kind of life, where the believer no longer strives to overcome sin, where he/she no longer struggles with self, where they are freed from the madness of the time, vis-à-vis mad pursuit cum overindulgence in ephemeral glories of this mundane world. But this new life spurs the believer to start living a holy life in the freedom of the spirit, affecting positively then those around them with the help of the aura of the Spirit working in and through them. God bless you!