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Good Friday: We must repent, take positive actions, Clerics urge Nigerians

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As Christians celebrate Good Friday, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has urged all Nigerians to use the opportunity to repent and take positive actions toward God and humanity.

Badejo made the call in a statement he made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday from Oyo Town.

He remarked that Good Friday called for all Christians to be faithful to their Christian calling.

“Jesus died to save lives, and all who destroy it and cause others to do so can neither worship Him nor win his favour.

“All must remember that they will have to account before the Creator and face the verdict of history and posterity.

“It calls on people in power to repent and address the needless bloodshed, suffering, and destruction being faced by millions of innocent people,” he said.

According to him, Good Friday teaches all oppressed and suffering people that God is near to them while showing that this world has always been sometimes unjust and unfair.

He added that it shows that God suffers with us, for by his wounds we are healed (Is. 53:5), but has utmost patience for unjust, evil people, so that he may be glorified.

“It reminds us that God is not absent when there is pain and sorrow, and suffering especially when the innocent people suffer.

“It is a reminder to stop seeking a resurrection that does not pass through the way of the cross.
“Good Friday condemns the ‘get rich quick, cash and carry wealth without work, and pleasure without principle’, which many people crave today.

“Such attitudes, especially in the youth, the politicians, and other leaders today must be arrested, it offends God and only leads to a disastrous rat race which will produce more casualties as we see already,” he said.

Badejo emphasised that Good Friday reminded Christians of the one who carried the cross and urged them to do the same for others.

“It is in saving others that we ensure our own Salvation (Matt 16:24-27), Good Friday ultimately affirms that only by the virtues of Christ crucified will the world find joy, peace, and salvation,” he said.

Also, the Anglican Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Williams Aladekugbe, advised Christians to have sober reflections on the day and look at what led to the event, which is the sin of man that brought alienation from God, with a view to jettisoning sin, the world and self.

Aladekugbe, who is also the Oyo State Chairman of the Christian Council of Nigeria, urged the government at all levels to look at the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ and emulate it in serving humanity.

“Our secular leaders should put self and personal satisfaction off, and see to the wellbeing and comfortable living of the citizens.
“There is no doubt that our country is going through a lot of pains because leaders are not ready to sacrifice their comfort, and personal enjoyment for the good and wellbeing of the citizenry.

“We should all reflect on love, sacrifice, peace, and the good of our society,” he said.

He said that Christians should see Good Friday as a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what the faithful believe to be the most momentous day in the history of the world when a felony was committed.

According to him, it is Good because it refers to the blessings conferred upon mankind by the sacrifice of Christ.

“Good Friday, the Friday before Easter, is the Christian Holy day to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary.

“It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, the Paschal day, the day of preparation, the day of our Lord’s passion, the day of Absolution, and long Friday.

“On Good Friday, we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (I John 1:10).

“It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death, and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Rom. 6:5).

“The significance of Good Friday is that Jesus Christ is believed to have sacrificed his life to atone for the sins of mankind.

“He suffered through beatings and torture willingly, and accepted death through crucifixion,” he said.

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