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Jesus’ resurrection gives hope to humanity, victory for believers- Odedeji

by Church Times
Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West, The Rt Rev James Odedeji has described the death of Jesus and his resurrection as a once-and-for-all experience that guarantees the believers victory over death and gives hope the human race.
He then urged believers never to be afraid of death because it has been defeated.
He made the declaration on Sunday, April 31 at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos during a special service to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

Redemption and salvation

Speaking on the theme, “Implications of Christ’s Resurrection.”  he said the death and resurrection of Jesus procured redemption and salvation for mankind adding that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, our faith is in vain.
Making copious reference to the Bible, Odedeji noted Jesus’ resurrection from the dead guarantees the resurrection of all those who follow and believe in him even if they die. “We will all come alive on the last day to reign with him forever,” he said.
With the resurrection of Jesus, Odedeji said, “We have hope and confidence in eternity with Christ. Jesus’ resurrection strengthened the faith of the world, particularly Christians. In Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4V12 we are told there is no salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

L-R: Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West, Rt Rev. James Olusola Odedeji, his wife, Lydia; former Bishop of Ilesa Diocese, Rt. Rev Samuel Sowale; Mrs. Gladys Talabi, Chairperson for the Cathedral Refurbishment Project and Father of the Diocese, Dr. Olusegun Osunkeye during the Easter Sunday Thanksgiving at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos on Sunday March 31 2024

Hope of eternity

He said further that the death of Jesus gives those who have submitted to His Lordship the hope of eternity. “It is also an indication that Christians will live forever. We are immortal. Our spirit will not die but we will reign with Christ” Odedeji said.
The Anglican Bishop noted that the followers of Christ would have been most “miserable and hopeless” if Jesus had not risen from the dead.
Citing 1 Corinthians, Chapter 15, verse 19, he said ‘Christians would have been men most pitiable if all their hopes end on earth, with nothing to look forward to in the great beyond.”
Giving further insight into the benefits of the resurrection of Jesus, Odedeji said, “The fact that Jesus rose from the dead, helped to lay the foundation of the Christian faith. That is the basis of faith. It is what we brag about and anchor our faith on. Jesus rose from the dead, the greatest news of all time. His resurrection has laid a strong foundation for the spread of the good news, which the church is all about.”

Fulfillment of prophecy

Jesus’ resurrection according to Odedeji is also a fulfillment of the prophecy in the Old Testament scriptures. “most of the Old Testament prophets gave prophecies towards the coming of Jesus, his death and resurrection for the redemption of mankind.  All those prophecies would have amounted to naught if Jesus Christ had not risen from the dead” Odedeji said.
He said the resurrection of Christ was divinely orchestrated to remove any iota of doubt about its reality. He cited the empty tomb and many post-resurrection appearances of Jesus as incontrovertible evidence of the resurrection.
Odedeji however admonished the congregation not just to celebrate Easter, but to ensure they appropriate the benefits of Easter.
Quoting First Corinthians, Chapter 15V58, he said: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

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