The Bishop of Bomadi Diocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev Hyacinth Egbebo, has said that the Easter Christian festivities were mainly observed all over the world to honour the Lord Jesus Christ and to keep the church abreast with key events that had led to the salvation of the human race.
Bishop Egbebo stated this yesterday when speaking on the essence of Christian festivities at Bomadi, headquarters of Bomadi council area of Delta state, against the backdrop of questions on their origins and who initiated them.
The cleric noted that Jesus Christ did not instruct His followers on what event to celebrate and what not to celebrate.
He said: “Jesus did not specifically tell us what event to celebrate and what not to celebrate, but He gave us the freedom to do so.
“Jesus said, anything you consider important I will consider important as well. if you opened the door, I have opened it also and if you say yes to anything I have said yes to it; I have given you the keys to the kingdom.
“He gave Christians that kind of freedom. For instance, the birth of Jesus Christ did not specifically occur on December 25, we decided to use that date because it was being used to honour the sun god.
“The old Roman Empire used that date to honour the undying sun god, giving glory to the sun.
“But instead of giving glory to that sun god, Christians said we should give that glory to Jesus Christ who is the real undying God.
“Most of the festivities we are celebrating were not commanded by Jesus Christ except the Eucharist, which he said we should do in his memory.
“The crucifixion of Jesus is the game of love between God and His human creation; He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die in our place, and that is what we celebrate at Easter.
“As we continue to celebrate this event (Easter), it helps Christians hold the memory and this is something that we need to appreciate.
“As Jesus said, this is the last covenant and there will be no other.
“When the law was handed over to the Israelites by Moses, he said to them: you should capture it in your hearts and say it to your generations.
“Moses said: Print this law on your hearts and foreheads and everywhere to remember it.
“So, we are remembering key events in Christianity which Jesus Christ did for us.
“Now, on Palm Sunday, it was the beginning, initiating the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. We devote a whole week to that event.
“You know, they brought palm branches, while some others spread their clothes on the ground for Jesus to pass by in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
“We are a kind of remembering that event of making Jesus Christ their King before His crucifixion.
“You know when the Pharisees confronted Him, saying oh, they are making you like a king, restrain your servants!
“Jesus answered them by saying, if you restrain them, even the stones will rise up in praise of Me, which means that is what God wants!”