EASTER MESSAGE 2017

from

The RT. Rev. James Allen Yaw Odico

BISHOP OF GAMBIA

My dear Sisters & Brothers in the Risen Christ,

The news of The Resurrection presents a new and fresh picture in the minds of believers year by year, as we celebrate the Feast of Easter; and 2017 is not an exception. Some people still wonder why Easter remains so significant in the world today. Easter is the Queen Feast.

Friends, before Adam’s historical disobedience towards God, man enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Most High God.  Genesis 3:8a records: Adam and Eve “heard the voice of the LORD God working in the garden in the cool of the day”.

In addition to the great privileges given to man at the creation (Genesis 2:7-22), this verse gives a shadow of the kind of love and close relationship man shared with the Holy God. By nature the Holy God cannot abide with sin. Therefore, the sin of Adam consequently resulted in spiritual death – separation between man and God. The Abrahamic covenant however, brought hope back to mankind. God promised Abraham that by him all the nations of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 12:3). The author of Hebrews describes the law (the old covenant) as “only a shadow of good things to come and not the realities themselves” While the law required the sacrifices of the blood of bulls and of goats, the sinful nature of man made it impossible “to make perfect those who draw near to worship” if not “worshippers would have been cleansed once and for all” from their sin and guilt after an offering of the sacrifice of the bulls and of goats.  But when Christ, the Pascal lamb offered His own blood He secured eternal redemption. This one perfect sacrifice required no more offering of blood for the forgiveness of sins. The Author of the book of Hebrews highlighted Jeremiah 31:33-34 to substantiate the argument:

“This is the covenant I will make with them

after those days, says the Lord.

I will put My Laws in their hearts

and inscribe them on their minds.”

Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts

I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10;15 -17

John confirms that God, in His infinite love for mankind, offered His only Son as a Pascal lamb so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life.( John 3:16)

Jesus himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”  John 11:25-26.

People of God, Christ has opened the gate of resurrection; “he has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”(Corinthians 15: 20-2