Contemporarily, Easter has been considered a time, where groups meet to have fun, workers take rest from their busy schedules and others use the opportunity to get intoxicated and indulge in all manner of activities that do not correlate with the true intent of the season.
The Ghana News Agency (GNA) gathered that majority of accidents recorded during Easter festivities over the years were attributed to drunk-driving.
In a news story published by the GNA on April 12, 2022, Mr Jeremaine Nkrumah, Board Chairman of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) spoke to drivers about alcohol intake during Easter.
In the publication, he said “Drunk driving caused most of the road crashes during Easter with drivers in the mood of ecstasy getting drunk and endangering lives on the road.”
Mr Hassan Tampuli, the Deputy Minister of Transport, in that same publication, mentioned that data indicated a rise in the number of road crashes during Easter.
At these gatherings, some women are seen half naked in the company of men, who are bare chested, with a lot of alcoholic beverages, all intended to celebrate a festival that is biblically oriented.
One may ask why Easter, a season associated with Jesus and Christians, is honoured in such manner and lifestyle, same instances the bible, where the festival emanated, preaches against.
The New Testament narrates how Jesus was arrested by the Roman authorities and sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, the then Roman Emperor, for claiming to be the son of God.
Easter, since then has been significant in the Christian faith and celebrated all over the world to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion.
It begins with lent, which is a fasting period in remembrance of the 40 days and nights Jesus Christ fasted in the wilderness as recorded in the biblical books of Matthew, Mark and Luke (synoptic gospels).
Lent starts on the Ash Wednesday, being the first day of the 40 days fasting and ends on Good Friday, which marks the day Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross.
Easter was set to take place on the third day after Jesus Christ was crucified, known as the resurrection day, but has a number of events preceding, which Christians observe annually.
The holy or passion week is the week that leads to the Easter day, which includes Palm Sunday, marking the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.
Maundy Thursday, follows to mark the day Jesus met and had the “last supper” with his disciples to observe the Passover and lastly, the Good Friday when he was crucified.
The basis on which the festival is celebrated, the historical and biblical events leading to its existence make it an entire sacred season rather than a mere vacation of merry from drunkenness.
Right from lent, through to the resurrection day, being the last day of the Easter season should be treated a period to reminisce on the Bible’s account of Jesus Christ dying on the cross of Calvary for the redemption of mankind.
There is the need for Christian individuals to evaluate themselves during this season to ascertain the strength of their faith in accordance with the teachings of the holy Bible.
Evangelist Andy Tsatsu, Founder of the Endtime Holiness Ministries, told the GNA that the season of Easter was basically a time for Christians to reflect on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, to know if they had lived a life that appreciated his blood, shed for human.
He said “It is not wrong to observe the season with fun and joy but Christians must be conscious not to celebrate as canal men, who get drunk out of fun and rather see it as an occasion of re-dedication to God.”
He said people should channel the celebration into sharing the love of Christ with others in times like this to clear the conception of Easter being a festival of drinks and promiscuity.
The Evangelist made reference to the second book of Corinthians 13:5, saying there was the need for Christians to examine themselves whether they had been in the faith of Christ and Easter was that perfect time to do so.
He said “These are the times to look at the mighty things the Lord has done for us, for Bible says he was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief, we turn our backs on Him and look the other way.”
He mentioned that the exact thing the Bible talked against was what a lot of people did on Easter, turning their backs against the creator and Saviour, without remorse.
The man of God said the Bible made it clear that Jesus carried the weakness of men, and their sorrows weighed Him down, while they thought His troubles were a punishment from God, adding that, that portion of the Bible was enough reason for Christians to give deeper reflection to their relationship with Christ.
Moment of reflection
Evangelist Tsatsu added that chapter 53 of Isaiah in the Bible shows that Easter was not a time to go beaching, partying, drinking, getting drunk and fornicating, but a spiritual moment of reflection and reconnecting to God.
Christians should reconsider the death of Christ, its significance and treat their religious occasion more than just a time to jubilate and make merry, but observe such occasion in respect to the biblical principles. The fact that Easter is the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes it a time to celebrate, not to cry over his death anymore, but the celebration should be done out of consciousness of being a Christian.
Pastors must consistently instill discipline in their members, to regulate their activities in line with their Christian faith during Easter and beyond.