Churches were deserted in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Sunday as Christian faithful celebrated the Easter in their homes in compliance with the state government’s directives to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.
The state government had placed a restriction on gatherings as well as imposed a 7.pm–6.am curfew on the state among other measures to check the spread of the raging pandemic.
Journalists who went round Ibadan metropolis, reports that most churches were shut while many Christian faithful watched Easter services relayed live on various social media platforms.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in the state, which backed the restriction order, urged members to emulate the character of Jesus Christ while obeying government’s directives.
The CAN Chairman in Oyo State, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, told NAN on Sunday that the faithful should comply with government’s orders to contain the spread of the pandemic while leaders should live sacrificially for their followers.
Akanmu also said that the resurrection of Jesus was a crucial part of the gospel, pointing out that if He did not rise from the dead, the faithful would still be in their sins.
“The way for sacrifice was to use animals to appease God but none of was acceptable to God till Jesus surrendered Himself as a living sacrifice.
” Jesus resurrected as a real physical body, not a disembodied spirit.
“Christians will one day also experience physical resurrection from the dead; the power of resurrection is showing that God is unstoppable.
” A day is coming that the redeemed will be with God forever,” he said.
Also speaking, Pastor David Olubunmi, the Zonal Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mount Zion, Bolumole, Ibadan, urged Christians to appreciate the work of redemption by being more committed to the service of God.
Olubunmi stressed that Jesus Christ through His redemption work was the only one able to open the sealed book of life and loosen the seven seals thereof.
He called on all Christians to consider the agony Jesus went through on the cross and surrender their lives to Him so as to access all the blessings in God’s kingdom.
Also speaking, the pastor of Deliverance Service Solution Center, Ibadan, Oluronke Esan, noted that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gave the faithful access to God.
“Celebrating Easter is a constant reminder to the devil that he has lost forever, our birthright has been restored to us; in his death is our victory, He died that we may live.
“In this trying time, Christians should focus on Jesus and His promises. He didn’t promise a bed of roses, it’s not just about eating and drinking but more about being thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus as a personal saviour.
“In such a time, our confidence should be in His invincibility and faithfulness,” he said.
Esan further urged the faithful not to be carried away with the happenings in the world but focus on heaven so as not to miss the rapture.
Easter is the day Christian faithful celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.