By Kunle Oyatomi
One of the perplexing complexities of nature is its bundles of ironies and seeming contradictions. If you want a huge yield on your farm, you would have to part with the little you have by burying it into the earth. That is to say your little must die. That ‘death’ is necessary if you want life, as it were, in the form of abundance. Isn’t it somehow contradictory, that to have plenty you must ‘kill’ even the little you have? Consider this also: the athlete who must wear the diadem must shed weight, that is, he must ‘kill’ his excess flesh through much agonizing physical exercise and self-denial. Or this: is it not a paradox that geniuses hardly emerge from the splendor of royal courts but from death-like grounds of poor homes?
These ironies, paradoxes and apparent contradictions should be topmost in our thoughts as we mark Easter at a time we are also groaning under an economic and social lockdown brought about by the devastating impact of the deadly coronavirus. So, if we are grieving because of the nationwide shutdown, we must also see the developments in the light of the lessons of Easter.
First, what is Easter? It began with ‘bad’ news of death on a Friday. But the story didn’t end there. A Saturday followed when nothing happened to give respite or hope to those mourning a seeming loss of their Beloved Master. The period appeared interminably long, unbearable. But it did come to an end all the same. It came to a joyful and befitting conclusion with the Resurrection of the Lord.
He died to bring back the life and laughter that man had lost when he broke God’s life-giving law. In death there is life. That is the ultimate paradox: Securing life from death. Death giving birth to life. Deriving hope from sacrifice and loss.
There are enduring lessons Nigerians must draw from this coronavirus season coinciding with Easter. We must gallantly see this coronavirus lockdown as our pain-causing Good Friday that must give way to our triumphant Easter Sunday, when the grave will give way to release our joy. The losses we are experiencing at the moment won’t last, just as Good Friday wasn’t forever, given the measures our government here in the State of Osun under Governor Gboyega Oyetola has put into place.
All we need to do is to cooperate with the authorities, and in the spirit of Easter, look beyond the present challenges and position ourselves for a bright Resurrection morning. Our state and our people shall conquer Covid-19. That is the disposition we need to possess in order for Easter to have purposeful relevance this season. That is the way, the only reasonable one to adopt to honor the One Who died for man to live