2012 EASTER MESSAGE
VICTORY OVER VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE FORCES OF EVIL IN NIGERIA
The heightened events in the life of our Lord which began with His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem seemed to have reached their climax when Jesus was arrested, tried, condemned and finally crucified. A gracious man offered his tomb, and He was buried. To all intents and purposes, the menace of Jesus as it seemed to his enemies had at long last ended in their favour!
To ensure that this remains so they created obstacles at the tomb to frustrate Jesus earlier prophecy that He would rise from the dead. A huge boulder was rolled across the tombís entrance. Soldiers were detailed to guard the tomb. These security arrangements could only deter human beings, not God!
Thus inspite of this water-tight security arrangement, on the third day there was a cosmic upheaval, and God raised Jesus from the dead! Godís Holy One did not see corruption. And it was impossible for death to hold Him hostage.
Jesus rose! He is risen indeed!! As we celebrate perhaps the most significant event in the Christian calendar, we remember the recent travails of Nigeria in the hands of a faceless yet well-coordinated mafia spreading terror, death and destruction in the land.
The Church and other well-meaning Nigerians have endured severe stress and provocation. Individual families have borne their irreparable losses in lives and property with remarkable fortitude.
At this point, we can only pray for Nigeria and Nigerians that the victory of Easter will usher in permanent peace and victory over these visible and invisible hawkers of death and destruction in the country.
Let us celebrate with emphasis on prayer for victory over the wickedness of man, evil forces, principalities and powers, darkness and retrogression. Nigeria must rise from the dead; the victory of Jesus over death and human intrigues must remain a continuing story in every facet of our National life. The LORD is risen! He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!! Happy Easter!!!
+ Nicholas D. Okoh
Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria
Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).