In a sentence, Kennedy my roommate sees Easter as celebration of the death of Jesus. Samson, a first year student of computer science, all in University of Nigeria, Nsukka; perceives Easter as resurrection of Jesus Christ. Merriam Webster dictionary defines Easter as “a Christian church festival that celebrates the return of Jesus Christ to life following his death.” A thousand and one individuals in truth, will have their own version of what Easter is; little wonder different people have varied approaches to it.
The Last Supper, the prayer at Gethsemane, the thirty pieces of silver, the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, the arrest, the trial before the council, Pilate and Herod, Peter’s denial three times. The carrying of the cross, the beatings, the mockery, the crucifixion, the gambling for his clothes, the cry- Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, the death, the piercing with arrow, the burial, the resurrection, the great commission and the ascension. All of the above comes to mind when the subject Easter is mentioned.
AFTER THE CELEBRATIONS WHAT NEXT?
Over the years, Easter is celebrated in a big way with so much fun fare. In this part of the world public holidays are given. Most times we hear the lines; “the reason for the season.” It is rather quite disheartening and heartrending that the message of Easter has been masked by things of lesser importance. This pitiable condition unfortunately has been handed down from generation to generation like a genetic mutation transferred from parents to the progeny.
Easter spins and has its centre on LOVE, whatever Jesus did for humanity; he died out of love not because humanity deserved it. An online quote goes thus: ”though our feelings come and go, God’s love does not”. Easter is a period that teaches us to love, not just our family members or good friends but also others outside this ring like our enemies. One good thing worth noting here is that, our love should be patterned after Christ’s love in that it does not seek what it will get in return but rather showers rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. It is quite natural to return acts of love but more godly to return hatred with love. The spirit of Easter should propel all to love all for love is the fulfilment of the law according to the Holy writ. Wake up each day with the ambition to show someone love, be it a friend or stranger, perhaps both.
PATIENCE is a virtue that has been drained to nothingness in this 21st century. No one is willingly to wait and those waiting are enveloped in endless complaints. Everyone is always in a hurry at all times, we need our plans executed in perfectness, there is no room for interruptions not even for anyone. Students dress and board cabs to lecture only to grow impatient and in less than two hours they want to go. Businessmen want to make it in less than 24 hours hence they dive into ungodly pathways, soothing their greedy desires with the quote ”the end justifies the means”. Let it not slip our memories that Christ endured and was patient all through the crucifixion. It is a footstep he left on the sands of time for us to walk in. Impatience has led to geometric increase in suicide rates, abortion of innocent babies, accidents of all kinds, too many woes and regrets. Life will never be a bed of roses but patience will drive the patient man to the platform of success. The patient dog they say eats the fattest bone.
JESUS LIVED WITH PURPOSE. He had the mandate to restore the fallen humanity to the creator, this he accomplished and today he is celebrated. Scientists have discovered that each individual has a unique thumb and finger print, genetic makeup and even distinct body odour and micro flora. We differ not only in these but also in purpose. Imagine our world without Christ, Thomas Edison, Martin Luther Jn., Mother Theresa, Ben Carson to mention but a very few. These great individuals made imparts that continue to speak volumes even after their death. Fulfilling our purpose in life fills a vacuum in us that nothing else can ever fill, it is attached to out true happiness in this world. We must never forget that these purposes are there to make our world better, put smile on faces, help the helpless, walk for the lame and be the eyes of the blind. The question that now serves as food for thought is” Certainly, one day, I shall pass away but what will my world remember me for and perhaps cry?” Purpose propels us to be the best version of ourselves, study hard as a student, guide our children and students aright, wake up early and sleep late to ensure that business is at its best. You may not touch every life but at least touch someone, an adult or maybe a child. We all have platforms; our fellow students, our family, friends, business and work colleagues, church members, students in the class, the stranded stranger. Someone said” the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
JESUS HAD GREAT FRIENDS. Out of fear they ran when he was arrested but they followed from afar, they cried for him, they beheld him at the cross, they buried him, and they went to anoint him and then realized he had risen. Jesus was a great friend to them when he was with them. What kind of friends are we to others? Someone said; “be that friend you want others to be to you first.” No one is an island we say but we have made ourselves islands. Friends make life easier and sweet, helps us achieve our dreams faster and add beauty to our lives and generations to come. Someone said;” true friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island. To find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing.”
JESUS KNEW WHEN TO TALK AND TO KEEP SILENT. The trial was not an easy one but he knew when to be silent, to speak, what to speak and how. My late mum will always tell me that when one says all one sees, one goes in for it let alone saying what one did not see. Silence is golden they say but this we take as an act of weakness and not meekness. In this present world, everyone wants to be heard, has something to say, and wants to express their ideologies and thoughts. I read in an article many months ago that it takes an average person 17 seconds to interrupt another. I from experience, have come to know that quietness attracts others, this is because people often wonder what your thoughts are and of course would want to relate with you to know that which is beyond their reach. So many have talked themselves into diverse troubles, death, court of law, loss of integrity and perpetual regret. Not talking much does not mean ignorance and stupidity but wisdom, self-control and developing the skill of proper thinking before talking; not emptying ones’ thoughts unfiltered and spontaneously. It is also worth noting here, that Easter is a time for reflection. It is a period to checkmate one’s life, failures and successes and plan the way forward. An online article by Carolyn Gregoire, titled “Why Silence Is So Good for Your Brain” explained four benefits of silence; silence relieves stress, replenishes our mental resources, enable us tap into the brain’s default mode work and also helps regenerate brain cells. The idea is to know what to say, when, how to say it and to the right audience.
CHRIST FORGAVE BEFORE OFFENSES CAME. The irony of life is that no matter how perfect we live or become, offense of varying magnitude must come. We also offend others unintentionally or perhaps intentionally. Peaceful living might reduce this but not eliminate it. If this is the case, then it is necessary that we cultivate the habit of forgiving others knowing that offense is a part of life. It takes a loving heart to forgive especially in our present world where everyone clings to their right even at the expense of another. Everyone, believes they are always right and others wrong hence we even pattern our lives to be a receptor of apologies perhaps undeserved apologies. Dr. Steven Standiford, Chief of surgery at the cancer Treatment Centre of America said in a report” Refusing to forgive, makes people sick and keeps them that way. With that in mind, forgiveness therapy is now being used to help treat disease, such as cancer” It is necessary therefore to forgive ourselves first because daily we do things that we plan not to do and then it is of immense essence to forgive others at least for the sake of our peace and wellbeing. Even when others refuse to admit they have faulted, forgive, for that is the pattern Jesus drew for us.
It is high time we unmasked and adopt the message of Easter. Beyond the celebration as we term it, let us above all get the message clear and practice it. Varieties of foods and drinks, going out with friends are not bad but more important is the message of the cross. Let us not use things of lesser benefit and priorities to consciously or unconsciously bury beyond reach the reason for the season. The reason first before the season. Easter may be celebrated only in a weekend but we should imbibe its message perpetually. Let us live Easter, let our character always portray it, let it be in our genetic makeup and let us guard it against the slightest mutation.
BY ODUOGU, VICTOR .N
Victor is a student of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka
He is a writer and regular contributor on Campus Duty
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