Life is beautiful, very beautiful. Let no one be in any doubt about it. The beauty of life we know shrines even brighter than the sun, its most brilliant sparkle is during the young days, the young days of life called the youth is a time of immeasurable zest, a period of unquantifiable verve. It is a time of awesome and unprecedented productivity because of the availability of great energy, because of the presence of highly desirable strength. Youth is a time of flaming ambitions, a phrase of blazing dreams and resolutions. It is a period of shining visions. Youth is a time of burst ‘ling brains, brains that fill up to the brim with irresistible ideas that subsequently and swiftly lead to great achievements, achievements that precipitate magnificent advancements, advancements that give birth to good life and human comforts, human comforts that bestow respect, prestige and honour on citizen and whole nations alike.
However one looks at youth, it is a time to be cherished, a time to be adored. To be protected and priced high. The reason for this is quite simple and obvious. This is because as noted above the youth is a period of beautiful productivity and advancement. Nations are known to stand firm and tower above contemporary nations because of the ownership of a knowledgeable and enterprising youth. From the almost fairy tale stand of the advanced nations or what we may call the first world nations to the infinite struggle for advancement by the third world nations, story of youth in such different stands is undeniable. This singular reason is why the Nigerian youth is struggling and crying for attention. It is the reason the Nigeria youth is soliciting for participation in the scheme of things because it is a general belief, even among the elderly that youth participation will no doubt change the state of things, that youth participation in Nigeria politics will snatch Nigeria away from the precipice to which it is currently headed driven by aged men of spent knowledge and dried ideas fitting for good and productive governance.
But the raging question between the youth and the elderly has become eloquent and troubling with the birth of the contemporary youth. The contemporary youth as we know is the youth of the current age. It is the youth of the digital age. When they were young, the elderly now always argue they were a better youth. They were a youth of great leaning, a youth of commendable and enviable character and morals. And so because of this they insist they were able to produce the good leaders of Nigeria’s early state hood, from the Nnamdi Azikiwes, to the Obafemi Awolowos, to the Herbert Macauleys, to the Abubakar Tafarwa Belewas, to the Ahmadu Beyeros.
Then with a wave of the hand with disdain on their faces they dismiss the youth of today as a huge joke. The contemporary youth they say is a breed of low education that will plunge deep into the television. Who will embrace pornography and movies with reckless abandon? Who will immerse self into watching foreign football games than enlighten himself. The contemporary youth is one whose relationship with the opposite sex has blocked his fountain of productive ideas. He is the youth whose thoughts are wholly saturated by sex. The youth of the current age is worried about boyfriends and girlfriends even at as early as age nine or ten. But this no doubt is perhaps because the internet has arrived and has totally taken the youth hostage.
Corruption which is the biggest incurable disease killing Nigeria currently will no doubt triple or even jump to quadruple because the contemporary youth is a youth of the flashy and extravagant life. The contemporary youth even at age of twenty-one is already desiring to own private jets, to build exquisite mansions and sky scrapers and to go around the world on tours. This is one of the big fears of the older generation about the contemporary youth, very nagging fear.
And today no topic has generated more heated argument, more controversies, more headaches and more concerns like the contemporary youth. Now this brings us to the strong validity of the quote above by Franklin D. Roosevelt, a former American president. The state, the unpalatable state of the contemporary youth is infinitely disturbing. This some argue, is largely because parentage has become a neglected and forbidden duty that has been thrown to the Trash Can in pursuit of wealth and relevance . And because the case of the youth has become annoyingly over flogged, the youth itself is unceasingly disturbed about what to do about the current society they are in. A society they always equally insist was never directly their own product. For instance the almost forbidden insistence for paper qualification has taken away sound education and enlightenment from the youth such that today our so called citadels of learning are accused of churning out half baked graduates or educated illiterates. Equally the accord of eulogy and respect to wealth and riches at the expense of enviable personality is ever fascinating to the youth so that he could do whatever it takes to belong and be relevant.
The average contemporary Nigerian youth wants to be a star, a super star. To be a big boy and girl overnight and make that faster he is either keen on being a musician or an actor as to him these are the sure ways to instant fame ,wealth, women, unbridled sex and nudity which has even become the yardstick for the marketability of music and movies. Perhaps this is a means of escape for the contemporary youth from the unemployable tag that is hanging annoyingly on the neck of the youth. But even in the movies and music, the shallowness of youth mentality and intellect is very evident Lyrics are in a bad taste and movie plots are nauseating.
Quite a whole lot has been said and complained about the contemporary youth, yet the unpleasant problems of youth still persist. The bottom line therefore should be that concerted efforts be made to refocus and rejuvenate the youth for the good of our country and humanity, present and future.(MZ).
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT
Yahshua the Messiah atoned for sins once and for all with His own blood… He procured everlasting atonement for us.
The Day of Atonement has always been a solemn time. It was a day of complete cleansing and purging for All Israel, and was planned into the year by loving Father who was well aware that the normal sacrifices were not adequate to cover and atone for all sins of His people .The day of grace gave Israel a fresh start every year. The man of the day was the High Priest; the activities of the day surrounded two identical goats; the outcome depended on Yahweh’s acceptance of the sacrifice; the mood of the day was solemn, “…ye shall afflict your souls and do no work at all …”(Lev 16:29).
On the morning of the day of atonement the High Priest took off his ordinary clothes, bathed himself in a specially prepared place, and put on holy garments of white linen, (white linen speak of holiness and righteousness).
When he was prepared, he offered a bullock as a sin offering for himself and his household. Two specially chosen goats were set before him and lots were cast as to which one would be Yahweh’s goat and which would be ‘Azazel’. The one chosen to be Yahweh’s would, eventually, be offered as a sin offering, the other would have all Israel’s sins and transgressions confession over it, before being escorted into the wilderness by the hand of a “fit man”.
Taking a censor of live coals from off the altar of burnt offering and with sweet incense in his hand, the High Priest would then go into the Most Holy Place (this being the only time he is permitted to do so). He would pour the incenses upon the coals “….that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat …”(Lev. 16 :13). This act was a prayer of petition that Yahweh would be gracious to His people. After this the High Priest would bring the blood from the bullock into the Most Holy Place and sprinkle it both in front of and on the mercy seat, seven times.
This done, he killed the goat selected by lot for sin offering. the blood from this—Yahweh ‘s goat– was also taken into the Most Holy Place and sprinkled in front of and on the mercy seat. In this way atonement was made for the Holy of Holies. Atonement for the meeting tent (i.e. tabernacle) was made by sprinkling the blood of both bull and goat, first on the horns of the golden altar once, and then seven times towards the altar, but on the ground .Atonement was made for the altar of burnt offering by putting some of the blood of the bull and of the goat on the horns, and sprinkling some seven times upon the altar itself. The High Priest had to use his finger for all the sprinkling of the blood.
When atonement for the Holy Place and the tabernacle had been made, the High Priest then took the live goat, laid his hands on its head and confessed over it all the sins of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions and then, by the hand of a fit man, sent the goat away into the wilderness, carrying their sins into a land of separation, from which there could be no return.
The Day of Atonement is extremely important to Yahweh. He told Israel that it should be an “…everlasting statute… to make atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. (Lev 16:34) The day gave Israel reconciliation with their Maker and a fresh start each year.
They Day of Atonement is to be observed as an everlasting ordinance. Even today the devout Jewish man spends the entire day at the synagogue in prayer and fasting, afflicting his soul, and doing no work at all, as the Law commands. In the past any person who failed to keep this way was automatically cut off from the community of Israel.
The Jewish man puts his trust in an Elohim he believes will forgive, atone and cleanse him from the sins of the past year, and will reconcile him to himself, giving him a fresh start and abundant blessing upon his life. These are the original provisions of the day. However a greater provision has been made for the Day of Atonement.
Again the action of the day is centered around one man- the High Priest, but a greater High Priest – Yahshua the Messiah!
Yahshua did something which the High Priests of Israel could never do – He Atoned for sins ONCE and FOR ALL. When He died, Yahshua went into the Most Holy Place, not with the blood of bulls and goats, but with His own blood, and procured everlasting atonement for us!
The old system of ritualistic sacrificing was made void because Yahweh had no pleasure in it (Heb. 10:6). In Yahshua, every step necessary for the expiation of sin was combined. He become Yahweh’s goat, set apart to be killed to make atonement for sins and the bull for sin offering (whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the Holy Place) Lev. 16:27 & Heb. 13:11-12, AND PAID THE FULL PENALTY FOR SIN.
So that by one simple act of faith, every man or woman, bond or free, Jew or Gentile can receive atonement and forgiveness of sin. We can have our sins removed as far as east is from west, as far as night is from day, never to be remembered again, (Heb. 10: 14-17). We can now approach the Day of Atonement not with trepidation or fear, but with confidence and boldness, knowing that Yahweh has already dealt with sin, through Yahshua, the great High Priest, and we stand before Him clean.
We keep the day with thankful hearts, looking with gratitude towards the One Who made us clean. We, nevertheless, respect the need for heart – searching on this day, and humility of spirit whereby we can hear Yahweh speak to us as He feels it necessary.
They Day of Atonement
By Faith Hewitt, Coy- England.