By Steve Unegbu
The Archbishop of Methodist of Umuahia and Bishop of Methodist of Umuahia, His Grace Chibuzor Raphael Opoko has commended the Abia state Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu for responding to the church request to relax the stay at home order a bit in the State to enable Christians in the state to gather in the Alter of God ,minister from His alter and proclaim God’s grace as well as thank God Almighty who has not allowed Covid -19 to be confirmed in the state so far .
The Archbishop of Methodist church of Umuahia, who is also the chairperson of World Methodist Council ,Social and International Affairs, advised that the relaxation of the sit at home order in the state must follow all the protocols of World Health Organization laid down rules on the prevention of spread of Covid -19 , insisting that the Governor granted the church appeal because of how important Good Friday and Easter Sunday are to the Christians in Abia state and all over the world .
The Archbishop ,who spoke to newsmen in Umuahia on Friday prayed that God to reward the State Governor for responding positively to this request .
The Bishop who is also an Honourable Commissioner in the World Council of Churches International and Social Affairs, explained why Christians all over the world call the day Christ was crucified as Good Friday ,saying for mortals it should be called Dark Friday .
In his words ,” One of the things that we need to understand is that without Good Friday ,even though in the eyes of mortals, we will question why is it called Good Friday, should we call it Good ,when somebody was murdered ? Should we call it Good ,when somebody who is righteous, who never sinned ,who never committed offense, but somehow He died ,He was killed,He was murdered like a common thief ,stretched His hands on the cross at Calvary and pierced His hands and legs ,such excruciating death that He was bleeding .Should we call it a Good Friday ?
” So for mortals no body could think that it is a good Friday .Mortals believe that this is really a dark and bad Friday. But for the fact that our God in the Bible tells us that for God so love the World that He sent His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but will have everlasting life ,shows to you that He was a Gift to mankind, prepared for the supreme sacrifice ,for the Redemption of man .So which means there will be no Christianity, if there is no crucifixion at Calvary.
” So what that mean that Good Friday is one of the foundations of Christianity .Good Friday is the essence of Christianity. Good Friday is the bedrock of Christianity. Good Friday is the pinnacle of Christianity. Good Friday is that tripod on which Christianity lies .So without Good Friday, there will not be any resurrection and if Christ did not die and if Christ did not resurrect ,then our faiths are all in vain ,empty and we will be most miserable”
He challenged Christians to sacrifice and demonstrate love to their neighbors this period,maintaining that it is as a result of love that Christ died for mankind on the cross at Calvary
Hear him , ” Christ decided to use Himself for supreme sacrifice so that He can redeem me ,redeem you ,redeem the world and that is what Christians now call the Good Friday.The day Christ exchanged us ,the day He used Himself to substitute us ,we are supposed to be crucified ,we are supposed to die by hanging, but Christ now exchanged and purchased us with His blood and that is why we are calling it Good Friday and all over the world Christian faith is anchored on Jesus, my Lord and my God ,my saviour, who paid the supreme prize “