NSUKKA, Enugu, Nigeria – Easter is here again! It marks the end of the Lenten season –a 40-day period of praying, fasting and penance by some churches.
Easter is viewed within Christianity as a time for celebration. It follows sober reflection and appreciation of the pains and sufferings of Jesus and self-assessment.
For many, it’s also usually a time for visitation and enjoyment. But for youth, especially teens, it is a time to get some rest from the drudgery of schoolwork.
The significance of Easter radiates through all the activities slated for the Holy Week, the beautiful decorations on altars and on the faces of the worshipers.
For Adaobi Okoli, 23, a student of microbiology at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka, the celebration of Easter reminds us of how Christ eschewed selfishness and paid for our sins.
“It is a time for reflection on how his death affects our lives,” said Okoli.
At the Assemblies of God Church in Hilltop, a stone’s throw from campus, people were spotted studying in various Sunday school classes on the topic of “the Risen Christ.”
“The death of Christ brought us victory and his resurrection has set us free,” said Pastor Chris Orumah, who leads the Hilltop congregation.
The Rev. Taddeo Onoyima, who officiated the service at St. Peter’s Chaplaincy, encouraged Christians to “make necessary sacrifices for others so that life can be better.”
A student of medicine and surgery, Jerry Ogbuanu, 25, said he appreciates the fact that Christ died for him.
“It brings to my memory the punishment I would have borne if not that he died for me,” Ogbuanu said.
The significance of Easter is enormous. Many Christians see it as a time for introspection and a time to strive to lead better lives. Christ’s tribulation tells us that as Christians, we are not immune from rejection, persecution, trials and suffering.
On the whole, through Christ’s resurrection we are called to steel ourselves against the negative forces of the world and remain resilient in times of pain.
“It is all about God,” said Tina Akor, 20. “It signifies the resurrection of Jesus and restoration of man to God. We now have free access to God.”
Let this celebration bring us nothing but fulfillment, spiritual growth, good health and peace. Happy Easter!
Nchetachi Chukwuajah is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.