Beloved, people of God, it is another Good Friday, the Historic Friday that brought freedom and salvation to Mankind. We appreciate the Almighty God for the Special grace upon us as a Nation and His love over each and everyone of us. On this day Christians commemorate the passion, suffering and death on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On Good Friday, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd fought against the wild beast which threatened to destroy His flock. In the fight, it seemed He died on the cross and was buried in the tomb. His enemies must have rubbed their hands together in satisfaction because the disturber of their conscience was at last silenced.
In three letters the word sin embraces all that makes for ugliness and mars human happiness. It is sin which cut man off from God, which fills him with the thoughts of death as terror and robs him of the hope of a blessed eternity. It was for the purpose of removing those sins that Christ came into the world “For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten son” (John 3:16).
What the Jewish authorities and Romans did to Jesus was definitely not good. However, the result of His death is very good. Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” 1 Peter 3: 18 tells us “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the Unrighteous, to bring you to God, He was put to death in the body but made alive by the spirit.”
On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our Sins 1 John 1: 10. The name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins. In order for the good news of the gospel to have meaning for us, we first have to understand the bad news of our condition as sinful people under condemnation. The good news of deliverance only makes sense once we see how we were enslaved. In the same way, Good Friday is “good” because as terrible as that day was. It had to happen for us to receive the joy of Easter.
The wrath of God against sin had to be poured out on Jesus, the perfect sacrificial substitute, in order for forgiveness and salvation to be poured out to the nations. Without that awful day of suffering, sorrow and shedding of blood at the cross, God could not be both “ Just and the Justifier” of those who trust in Jesus Romans 3:26. Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the death blow in God’s gloriously good plan to redeem the world from bondage.
Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That is why Good Friday is so dark and so Good. The Church has always understood that the day commemorated on Good Friday was anything but happy, sadness, mourning, fasting and prayer have been its focus since the early centuries of the Church. Despite its sadness, Good Friday is truly good, its sorrow is godly sorrow. It is like the sadness of the Corinthians who wept over the sharp letter from their dear teacher, Paul, convicted of the sin in their midst. Hearing of their distress, Paul said, “My joy was greater than ever”
Why? Because such godly sorrow brings, repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” 2Cor 7:10
This commemoration of Christ’s death reminds us of the human sin that caused this death. And we see again that salvation comes only through godly sorrow both God’s and, in repentance, of ours. To pursue happiness, we must first experience sorrow. He who goes forth sowing tears returns in joy. Good Friday recalls for us the greatness and wonder of God’s love that Christ should submit to death for us.
Beloved children of God, Good Friday teaches us to jettison all forms of abuses like gross corruption, Kidnapping, stealing, violence and all forms of decay in our system that has put the nation where we are today.
It is of paramount importance to call on the citizens of this great country in the spirit of the season to imbibe the true spirit of Nation building, which is characterized by sacrificial living as against the canker-worm of greed and grabbing which has eaten deep into the fabric of our Nation.
The need to end over-reliance on foreign personnel in the country’s oil and gas sector requires The academic community to add value to the oil and gas industry by developing sustainable local technologies and personnel that would drive the country’s growth in the sector.
The universities should be catalysts for innovation and engine rooms for the Nigerian technological revolution in the oil and gas industry. Energy is critical to nation building and also a major challenge to the nation at this time. Nigeria has continued to be a net importer of refined petroleum products in addition to its poor levels of electricity generation. Therefore the university and other agencies should rise and surmount these challenges so as to end the importation of refined petroleum products by locally refining its petroleum and produce petrochemicals and other by- products.
Undeniably our country requires national industrial plans that will move the nation from a weak pioneer nation in the 19th century to becoming the strongest industrial power within a century.
The US policies strategically feature high import tariffs on foreign manufactured goods, the promotion of local industries and government funding of infrastructure. China has similarly, rapidly transformed from a backward agrarian nation to the world’s second largest economy with the same template.
With the ultimate sacrifice Jesus has made for us, there is no sacrifice one can make to secure the future and the growth of generations unborn that will not be reckoned with time. Let us determine in our hearts to promote the ideals of transparency, honesty and have living faith in God to move our country forward.
I wish you all a glorious Good Friday
The Most Rev. Dr. E. Adebola Ademowo OON
Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus,
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)