resurrection of Jesus Christ in order for God to restore the nation’s lost glory.
Atere, who made this remark during a sermon at the special Easter service held at The Cathedral of St. James, Ota, Ogun State, appealed to every Nigerian to allow the resurrection of Jesus Christ to rekindle their hope of the resurrection of the nation’s ailing economy, values, justice system, healthcare delivery system and the education sector, hitherto considered dead.
He noted that the ills bedeviling the nation like growth of terrorism, spate of insurgency, widespread corruption, insecurity, kidnapping, assassinations and violence were because the country had sinned against God, stressing that God was not happy with the nation because of the sins and the only thing left for Nigerians was to have faith in Jesus Christ whom through his death and resurrection, the nation could resurrect.
The Bishop further stressed that for the country to be a better society, Nigerians should be righteous, remain steadfast, be humble before God, live a holy life and cleanse their hearts of sins and inequities and desist from going back to their sinful ways of life after the Lenten period.
The cleric charged Christians to appreciate the gift of grace promised by God with Jesus Christ leaving his exalted position in heaven to come and suffer here on earth in order to take away the sins of man and the penalties of those sins.
Atere noted that Jesus Christ did not deserve to die, but for the atonement of the sins of man, he presented himself as the perfect sacrificial lamb, thereby bringing deliverance, salvation and eternal life to humanity.
He pointed out that the resurrection of Jesus Christ proved to the world that Christ was right in all he did as God vindicated him three days after his persecution, execution and death, stressing that by his resurrection, Christians now had the opportunity of celebrating their sanctification, holiness, freedom, redemption and also no longer had any cause to be afraid of death.
The Bishop, who traced the origin of fasting and prayer to Exodus 34:28- where Moses was with the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Sinai and he ate neither bread nor drank water; 1 Kings 19:8 – where Elijah walked 40 days and 40 nights on Mount Horeb with fasting and prayers and Daniel 9:3 – where Daniel sought the face of the Lord to seek by prayer and supplications with fasting and sack-clothes and ashes, urged the Christians to always prepare their hearts to welcome Jesus Christ, as well as prepare their lives for heaven.
Atere, however, advised the government, in the spirit of the death and resurrection of Christ, to find a way of making life more meaningful to Nigerians by improving the welfare of the people through provision of employment opportunities and other basic social amenities such as uninterrupted power supply, good road networks and security of lives and property.