Beloved, on Good Friday the disciples were thrown into deep disillusionment. They had placed all their hopes on Him but all their hopes were shattered. All of their dreams had been broken in pieces and no one could put them back together again. The process of disillusionment is the first step all of us must take if we are to see clearly the meaning of resurrection. Only when our illusions are shattered, only when our wishful thinking is brought to an end, are we prepared for a deeper understanding. Only when we are fully aware that death is real are we prepared for that new reality which is the resurrection. It is sin which cuts 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” The scripture declares “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, you are yet in your sins” –1 Corinthians 15: 17. But thanks to the Eternal Father, who in His infinite wisdom and love gave us a living Saviour. No one and nothing was allowed to upset this plan of our redemption. Not even a sepulchre with a sealed door of stone, Pilate, Caiaphas and the Good Friday crowd could upset the plan. For all and sundry, the atonement He made was acceptable, complete and perfect. For this fact alone we have a fulfilment worthy aiming at.
People of God, Easter and its message are not all future tense, as many suppose. It is not something totally unrelated to life here and now. Christ, who is living and not dead, intended that Easter should mean so much. He means that we should let this Easter glory get its grip on us and motivate us to some high end. It means that it is not for us to be cringing in front of some anxiety or covered by disaster. He means that Easter shall pull us away from chasing the shadow, because Easter is a sure promise of victory from day to day. We can face tomorrow, whatever it brings. The blessing of Easter and the message of Easter combine to encourage us to live courageously from day to day, doing great things with and in Christ, none of our situations are strange to Christ. Nigeria’s situation is not strange to Him. The story of our life whether tragic or comic is like a bud with bitter taste which will end up with the sweetness and blossom of the flower.
Our values, our attitudes can be revived while solutions should be provided to the socio-economic crises, insecurity, wrong perception of ourselves and other evil vices plaguing our nation. Majorly, all Nigerians must play their parts in being good citizens. We must be God fearing, hardworking and responsible as citizens. We should begin to see Nigeria as a country worth sacrificing for. There is the need to restore our values. We have sacrificed our value system on the altar of greed, indiscipline, selfishness and insatiable craze for material wealth acquisition. National rebirth must begin with the family through the inculcation of values and virtues of truth, fairness, selflessness, justice etc. in the youths. It is time for our leaders to demonstrate the fear of God and consult Him on the affairs of the Nation. It needs to be said that corruption is not really a recent phenomenon in the history of this country or indeed, of any country. The point of worry is that corruption has in the last thirty five years assumed a dimension that is difficult to explain. A new culture of accountability should replace the prevailing reign of impurity of and sleaze. The most critical assignment before the present government is how to institutionalize the war on corruption through public sector finance reforms.
The abhorrent and systematic capture of part of our national treasure, specifically, the recurring and unconscionable kidnapping of the country’s school-aged girls in dastardly fashion. In the aftermath of the unresolved calamity regarding “the chibok girls” only to be confronted by the stark reality that more girls “ the Dapchi girls” had been pugnaciously kidnapped. Consequently our country is forced to ponder in persistent horror, where next, the menace will appear. The government should expend all necessary resources to rescue all abducted chibok and Dapchi girls through coherent and comprehensive search and rescue operations.
Herdsmen clashes with farmers need urgent solution. The clash is as old as the countries fourth republic, claiming thousands of lives and properties. Its trendy reoccurrence is despicable which is owned to the failure in the side of the government to bring about a permanent way of solving issue. Even the number of affected states speaks for themselves. Regrettably, humanity has taken so low in affected states. People are dying, lo.ts of property are being lost as this herdsmen attack. Governors especially in the affected states must begin to take the bull by the horn, by enacting anti-open grazing laws and meeting with stakeholders in order to promote and begin the enforcement of such laws. It would also not be out of place to legally set up or empower local structures of security so as to enhance the protection of the lives and property of hardworking law-abiding citizens. All that has just been said brings to light the necessity of state policing and true federalism. It is only in this way that true protection and solicitude for citizens can be guaranteed.
Beloved, as we celebrate the Easter, let us for the sake of God Almighty and our fatherland acceded to the principles for which Christ died, rose and ascended. Therefore the victory of Easter should lead us to face the perplexities of life with fortitude holding up our banner with the assurance that because He lives, we too shall live. And it shall be well with our souls. We must remain resolute in our prayers for genuine love and unity in our country.
I wish all Nigerians happy and peaceful Easter celebrations.
The Most Rev. Dr. E. A. Ademowo OON, FNAL Ph.D.
Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus,
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)