By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has urged Christians to take advantage of the significance of Palm Sunday to imbibe the culture of living a life of sacrifice.
Chairman of the Oyo State Branch, Pastor Benjamin Akanmu, made the call in an interview in Ibadan.
Akanmu urged Christians to emulate the humility, love, and selfless service of Jesus Christ, which made Him to die on the cross for the salvation of mankind.
He called on Christians to live a life of positive impact in the society and to draw people to Christ as they do those things that would be acceptable before God.
His words: “When Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on what we commemorate as Palm Sunday, His entry was in fulfilment of the prophecy of Zechariah; He is victorious, triumphant, riding on a donkey. We should pray for divine strength, learn to love unconditionally, just like Jesus, we should always allow God's will to be done in our lives, we should love, be strong even when the going is rough and shouldn't be Palm Sunday Christians by mouth,” he said.
Also speaking, the Priest in charge of All Saints Anglican Church, Koroduma, Nasarawa, Rev. Alexander Okoye, said Palm Sunday was celebrated to commemorate Jesus Christ's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. He added that it was also to remember when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem as Saviour, King of kings and Lord of lords.
“As He rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, a large crowd followed Him, laid palm branches, their cloaks on the road, shouting Hosanna, Hosanna to the son of David, blessed is He who comes in the name of the lord, hosanna in the highest,” he said.
Okoye said that it showed the humble, peaceful nature of Jesus riding on a donkey as a king rather than a warhorse; it showed that Jesus is a burden bearer as He rode on a donkey (a beast of burden). He urged Christians to know Jesus as their saviour, king of kings, burden bearer and Lord of Lords, while calling on them to emulate His humility, gentle as well as peaceful nature. Violent herdsmen attacks threaten Nigeria's stability.
“As Jesus entered the temple, drove out, sellers, overturned the table of money changers, so shall He come into our lives this season, drive out sin, infirmity and poverty in Jesus name, amen,” he prayed.
Also, a Christian Faithful, Mr Cornelius Nnamdi, expressed gratitude to God for another Palm Sunday, saying Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem led to His death and then resurrection which brought Christians hope of eternal life. Nnamdi prayed God to give Christians the grace to emulate the dedicated, humble, peaceful, obedient life of Jesus. “Jesus never did anything out of His own will but God's own; that is a challenge to us Christians today,” he said. Reports have it that Palm Sunday is the Sunday preceding Easter Sunday and begins the Holy Week which contains Maundy (Holy) Thursday as well as Good Friday. Many Christians, especially those in orthodox churches, celebrated the Palm Sunday in Ibadan Metropolis with processions, carrying branches of palms.