This year Easter celebrations seem to have taken a different shape, compared to the gloomy celebration the world had under the tight grip of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. The tide is changing as progress has been made so far since the COVID-19 vaccines were deployed and are now being made available to people all over the world.
Last year, amidst the heat of the COVID-19, churches were locked down, picnics could not be organised, and people had to stay indoors to celebrate the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This year, churches and Christians across the globe have every reason to fully celebrate the Easter season and indeed reflect on its essence. In Nigeria, activities are in top gear to make the Easter celebration memorable, despite fears over the problem of insecurity.
Tribune Church today presents the Easter messages of notable clerics as they ignite the hopes of Nigerians, urging them to always reflect on the good essence of the Easter celebrations to mankind, instead of dwelling on the negative situation in the country.
In his Easter message, the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and the presiding Bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, lamented the security challenges of the nation, just as he admonished that in addition to whatever security arrangements government might put in place during the Easter celebrations, Christians and other Nigerians should arm themselves with prayers and vigilance.
The PFN president tasked the Federal Government to evolve a security mechanism that will further ensure the protection of lives and property of Nigerians, particularly Christians in the northern part of the country.
“Security concerns should be everybody’s business and that’s why we must all learn to take precautions. So, in addition to whatever security arrangements on the ground, we must all be vigilant and prayerful. Enough of bloodsheds in our country; Nigeria shall be delivered from the grip of the evil ones,” he prayed.
Bishop Oke noted that the import of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ must not be in vain, calling on the faithful to live peaceably with the fear of God.
“The essence of the Easter Celebrations will be meaningful if we truly love one another. Our Lord Jesus Christ died and resurrected for you and I, to gain eternity. All perpetrators of evil in our country should repent before it is too late. Jesus does not want any sinner to perish in his/her sins,” he counseled.
He further stressed that the solid foundation of a new Nigeria devoid of acrimony and rancor would be in place.
Furthermore, the renowned cleric equally enjoined Christians in the country to continue to be law-abiding all the time, insisting that violence would always produce negative effects, stressing that, “As Christians, learn to show love instead of hatred. It’s through love that we can conquer the world. Love is the most powerful tool for us, to evangelise.”
The Diocesan Bishop (Anglican Communion) of Lagos, Reverend Humphrey Olumakaiye, also urged Nigerians across the states to discard eschew ethnicity, nepotism, hatred, and corruption.
Olumakaiye explained that Nigerians should live in peace with one another while expressing optimism for a greater and brighter tomorrow.
He noted that nothing can shake off God’s goodness and love with hope and strong confidence in Him.
“Let all Nigerians shun ethnicity, nepotism, hatred, corruption. Let us live in love with our neighbours and with hope for a greater and brighter tomorrow.
“As we celebrate the beauty of Easter, let us therefore, look ahead with hope and strong confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake,” Olumakaiye enthused.
He also said that Easter is a sign that there will be light at the end of the tunnel and a signpost that light will always prevail over darkness and that the celebration of Easter is a historical moment of reflection of goodness and goodwill of God for all humanity.
The Anointed Prophet & Founder of Celica Church of Christ Worldwide, Reverend (Dr.) Emmanuel Adetunji Adeonigbagbe, however, warned of a looming crisis that is coming soon in Nigeria unless those in authority act faithfully and sincerely to the oath they swore to by the Holy Books and the constitution.
In his Easter message, the cleric said that there was so much injustice and bloodshed in the land and that the Lord said He is not pleased with the actions of those at the helm of affairs.
Quoting the book of Ezekiel 34: 2-10, Adeonigbagbe said the Lord compared the nation’s leaders to shepherds taking care of the Lord’s sheep (citizens) ‘but I, the Lord, condemn these leaders. I, the Lord God, say you shepherds of the nation are doomed!’
“You take care of yourselves while ignoring my sheep. You drink their milk and use their wool to make your clothes. Then you use the best ones for food but you don’t take care of the flock. You have neither protected the weak ones nor healed the sick or bandaged those that get hurt. You are cruel and mean to my sheep. I will fight for my people, says the Lord Almighty,” he said.
Speaking further on the spiritual message, Adeonigbagbe said those in authority have been promoting injustice, cruelty, bloodshed, nepotism, and insecurity in the land and that the Lord said he would bring his wrath upon them unless they retrace their steps.
“These leaders are polluting the land with innocent blood being shed on a daily basis and the land is spiritually stained. These leaders in the political, judicial, economic, traditional, and religious setup have failed the citizenry and the country. They have abandoned the truth and Godliness and place more emphasis on falsehood and accumulation of wealth for their selfish ambitions.
“Crisis is looming in Nigeria. A spiritual revolution is coming also from the Lord! The sword of the Lord has been raised up to cut down the evildoers who pollute the land with blood and injustice.
“Thus said the Lord of Hosts that I am sending a windstorm from the desert, not a welcome breeze; it will sweep you away as a punishment for your sins. Jeremiah 4:11-14 and the nation will shake to its foundations.
“The Lord said he has sent out his word to faithful spiritual and religious leaders to speak out against the ills of the society. They should speak truth to power and remind them there is a supreme being watching over the affairs of men. Thus says the Lord, make it your aim to do what is right not what is evil, so that you may live. Hate what is evil, love what is right and see that justice prevails in the nation. (Amos 5 vs. 14)
“Failure to abide with the directives of God will lead to great consequences. This is a warning, so says the Lord to avoid the crisis that is looming,” he stated.
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