Christians commemorate Christ's power over death

The Easter Story File photo

Sun, 12 Apr 2020 Source: GNA

The Christian community across the world is marking the resurrection of Christ Jesus, the distinctive event, underpinning their faith to spend eternity with God.

The Bible gives many accounts that justify the belief that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, is the only man who continues to live, having been resurrected by God, three days after His crucifixion death to reconcile sinful man with God.

For instance, the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8: "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance. Or you at the first: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas. That is, Peter and then to the Twelve.

"After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born".

Paul also assures faithful Christians of their own resurrection in 1 Corinthians 6:14: "And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power".

Easter has, therefore, been immemorially marked by Ghanaian worshippers, clad in white attires with joyous early morning services to celebrate the victory of Christ over death and the power of God over Satan.

"Christ is risen, Alleluia, He is risen, indeed!" become their common greeting and exchange for Easter Sunday.

The event is also marked with praise and worship concerts and conventions.

However, with the lockdown measures being implemented by governments across the world and the importance of observing social distancing, Christians are marking the day with family and very small congregations.

The measures are to limit the spread and the socio-economic disruption of novel coronavirus, which has since the end of December 2019, infected more than 1.7 million people and killed more than 100,000 across the world.

The clergy are thus using traditional and online platforms to reach Christians with messages of faith, love, hope, victory, resilience and more, to strengthen their commitment to the cause of the Kingdom of God.

Many pastors have urged the faithful to use the stay home period to honour their fasting, prayer and meditation obligations to draw them closer to God and receive more of His power to impact the world.

They should also show compassion to the vulnerable and poor as Christ did, bond with their family members and generate new ideas that would make them more productive when the situation normalizes.

The Chairman of the Christian Council, the Most Reverend Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo, has said the change in the nature of delivering liturgies and absence of church congregations do not negate the essence of Easter.

He explained that Easter and all Christian celebrations were best observed spiritually in the heart, “hence the season does not lose its power without the usual outdoor activities”.

In a message to mark the Easter festivity, the Most Rev Boafo, reiterated that Easter was all about Jesus Christ “who is risen from the dead”.

“Easter is a real celebration of the Risen Lord and what makes this season worth celebrating is the fact that Jesus who was declared dead after the crucifixion on Good Friday was raised on the third day," he explained.

"Easter is no doubt the high day in the cycle of Christian worship. But it is not the specific day of celebration that brings Christians together but Jesus Christ who gathers us unto Himself".

Theologians put the earliest recorded observance of Easter in the 2nd Century, though it is believed it could have been marked much earlier than that.

Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21.

Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere from March 22 to April 25 every year.

However, Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

Meanwhile, many Christians in Ghana are also using social media to share messages to celebrate the Risen Christ and renew their hope of being reconciled with him in eternal life.

Source: GNA
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