Ultimate Sacrifice is paid by Christ not cow

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

In the past, when cows are killed at funerals, in some places, some rituals are performed. In some other places, the eldest says some kind of prayers (that is "igo ofo") indicating that the cow is being offered for the deceased.

It is only after such rituals or pronouncements that the cow is killed. However, in some other places, the cow is only shown to the designated persons who would have been served with gallons of palm wine earlier; and thereafter, the cow is killed. But the truth is that for believers in Christ, and in fact, for everybody, Christ is that Sacrificial Lamb that has been offered for all.

Christ has paid that price. He was sacrificed on the wood of the cross at Calvary. He is that bull that has been immolated. Crucifixion, for the Jews, was one of their gory death penalties to hooligans. To have killed the Innocent by crucifixion, was a great sacrifice on His part.

Of course, Jesus Himself taught that His death is the greatest sacrifice to be made by any man when He said "greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friends" (John 15: 13). And this is what He did. He died on the cross. His death on the cross paid the price of all the sins of all mankind (Hebrews 9: 26-28; 10: 10, 12, 14).

Jesus' death was part of God's plan to save mankind. As we can see, when God laid down blames/judgments on our first parents (Adam and Eve), He indicated the enmity between the serpent and the woman; and between her offspring and the serpent's offspring (Genesis 3: 15). It was there that God set the stage for this ultimate sacrifice to be paid by Jesus.

And when that offspring came, He declared God's love for the world which gave rise to His advent (John 3: 16). Therefore, we are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ not by corruptible things (1 Peter 1: 18-20); for Jesus came to give His life as ransom for many (Matt 20: 28). He has paid that ransom once and for all. What is more, Jesus Himself, indicated that He is "the way, the truth and the life" (John 14: 6).

He knows the way, and He has the truth, and He is the life, and we must, therefore, follow Him. If we, rather, commend our deceased relation(s) to His Hand, He knows how to lead the person home because He is the way. He is even the viaticum the dying receive. He was immolated that we have the truth, and be set free therefrom. And when we have Him, we have life eternal.

What a joy thinking about the Holy Mass rather than the cow at the funeral of our deceased ones! If we offer this sacrifice of the Holy Eucharist, then we are sure that our deceased are in God's Hand, pending how well they lived while on earth. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our lives and for our sins. He is the Bull immolated for you and me (1 Timothy 2: 6).

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