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Opinions of Thursday, 24 March 2016

Columnist: Apostle Peter Okoe Mankralo

Celebrating the death and resurrection of Christ

Christendom would soon celebrate Easter, an occasion to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The occasion and its significance, perhaps, is one of the central points in Christian beliefs.

The death and resurrection of Christ, some 2,000 years ago, was to reconcile man with God and assure the followers of Christ that there is life after death; an eternal life of bliss to enjoy if they act in accordance with His teachings and practices.

Easter must, therefore, not be seen as just one of the annual rituals for Christians, but those who profess to be followers of Christ must make the occasion relevant to life and reflect the values of Easter - the ideal of significant sacrifice in all their lives.

Christ made the supreme sacrifice at Easter in order to redeem mankind. As the Son of God, Christ took on a human form and endured all suffering so as to save mankind from destruction.

This is the highest price anyone can pay for an ideal or objective in which he believes. Christ died for all men irrespective of gender, race, colour or creed.

This underlines the principle of equality and justice for all men in the teachings of Christ.

We believe that as Christians and Ghanaians generally celebrate what is one of the most important occasions on the Christian calendar, we will tell and live the truth, shun falsehood and exhibit righteousness in all our endeavours.

Like the Christ we follow, we must exhibit fellow-feeling for our neighbours and develop the principle of sharing what we have with them in order to help ameliorate the suffering of others who are less fortunate in life than we are.

We wonder, however, how many Christians today live by these noble principles espoused by Christ.

We are disturbed to note that at a time we should be living by these virtues, there has emerged in our society an array of false doctrines and practices among Christians.

Some people, styling themselves as pastors, have become stage cancers or cheats who shamelessly tell lies and twist the Word of God.

The proponents of these false doctrines seem to have monetary and other material considerations at the centre of their teachings, and claim to have the power to cure all ailments, and have answers to all problems – social and economic, etc. that afflict the people.

It is worth noting that these false prophets only succeed in compounding the miseries of their unsuspecting followers by ripping them off of their property, and sometimes, their very dignity.

We, therefore, call on Ghanaians in general and Christians in particular not to just see the Easter as another ritual, but as an occasion to critically question such false teachings and short comings in their lives, and thus, reflect on the relevance of Christ’s death to mankind.

Christians must use the occasion to ponder on how they can live lives that would justify the supreme sacrifice Christ made. Easter must provide another occasion to re-orientate our lives along the values and principles espoused by Christ.

This means that we should be more honest and transparent in our dealings with our fellow men, and work hard and diligently to rebuild our nation and secure our collective prosperity.

We need to reject all false doctrines and their perpetrators as well as practices and ways of life that promote vice and evil in our society, and endeavour to lead righteous lives which Christ, through His sacrifice on earth, bequeathed to us.

It is only in doing so that this Easter and each subsequent one, for that matter, would secure our passage for true salvation. Beloved, may the feast of sacrifice and the resurrection of Jesus Christ strengthen us as a nation to strive for unity, peace and progress.

Wishing you a Happy Easter and May God be with you all, Amen.