TODAY marks the turning point in perhaps the most important week namely, the Holy Week, on the Christian calendar.
Friday is the day Jesus Christ of Nazareth willingly went to die on the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people.
For this reason, all Bible-believing Christians will today be trooping to their various Church buildings to acknowledge that they have sinned against God their Creator and thank him that He has forgiven them through Christ’s death on the cross of cavalry.
By dying for the sins of the world with which he had absolutely nothing to do, Jesus Christ, as a person, epitomised one type of love which no mortal person can equate with.
There have been calls in Christian circles to emulate Jesus’ love for humankind. Such calls have heightened of late, particularly in the wake of violence perpetrated by some political party cadres against one another.
Such attacks could only occur in situations where people do not show love for one another, and have prompted political players to call for an end to all politically-motivated violence.
President Edgar Lungu is, for instance, on record urging not only members of his party, the Patriotic Front (PF), but all Zambians to denounce, and not to resort to violence to resolve any misunderstandings.
The Head of State has gone further, urging his countrymen and women to avoid confrontation, and not to revenge even if they are provoked.
Leader of the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Hakainde Hichilema has similarly been reported calling on his party’s supporters not to engage in acts of violence.
Other political stakeholders have been singing a similar song, culminating into a meeting on Wednesday this week by Copperbelt-based PF and UPND youths where they agreed to work together to fight the vice.
The youth also said that they would henceforth sensitise their peers against being used as tools to fan political violence.
Incidentally, and not just in a spirit of promoting the ‘One Zambia One Nation’ motto, but also love for one another, President Lungu recently called on all political party leaders in Zambia to meet and discuss ways of nipping politically-motivated violence in the bud.
As could be expected, the Catholic Church has welcomed President Lungu’s call, with Zambia Episcopal Conference deputy president Bishop Alick Banda saying it is timely, urgent and one of his Church’s duties of mercy.
These ongoing efforts to try and stop violence must be taken seriously by all Zambians who call themselves citizens of this country which has been declared as a Christian Nation.
As Bishop Dr Banda rightly says, these developments are timely, gaining momentum in the Holy Week which is revered by Christians and include some of their most important days, namely, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Sunday as well as Holy Monday – all of which have been declared holidays.
The Holy Week has a very rich history. Scripture actually refers to it as a Passion Week precisely because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people.
Christians who celebrate the week kick-start their activities with Palm Sunday, which is essentially a celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, exactly one week before his resurrection.
Memorable things signifying Jesus’ final days of his earthly ministry are well-documented in Scripture with one, however, standing out prominently. This is His revelation of His passion for us in the suffering He willingly went through on our behalf.
What lessons can Zambians learn from this type of love? Obviously, the first one is that Zambians should be passionate in their worship of Jesus and in their proclamation of His Gospel.
The second is that they should love one another, as Jesus loves them, heed calls for President Lungu and others to meet and see how political violence can be stopped.
Once this is done, then Zambians will truly be a loving people, and only then will the greeting ‘Happy Easter’ make Christian sense. opinion