The Resurrection: The Foundation of Our Faith

Easter is the most important holiday in the Christian calendar. It marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, an event that transformed the world and is the foundation of our faith. The significance of Easter cannot be overemphasised, as it is a reminder of God’s love, grace, and power to overcome death.

In 1 Corinthians 15:14, the Apostle Paul states, “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless.” This underscores the centrality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the Christian faith. Without the resurrection, there would be no hope of salvation, no victory over sin and death, and no reason to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.

Easter is a time for us to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and rejoice in his victory over death. As Jesus himself said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” And therefore, we live because He lives, and because He lives, we live.

We are called to share this good news with others, as Jesus admonished his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

During the just-ended Lent, many Christians embarked on the 40-day fast as a spiritual discipline to draw closer to God. This was a time of sacrifice, prayer, and reflection, and we should commend those who committed to this practice. May all their prayers be answered in accordance with the will of God.

As we celebrate Easter, let us thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and His victory over death. Let us also be bold in sharing the good news of the Gospel with others, knowing that Jesus is with us always. And let us encourage those who fasted during Lent to share their testimonies of God’s goodness and faithfulness in their lives. May we all experience the power of the resurrection in our lives and be transformed by the love of Christ.

Happy Easter!

Written by Kow Abaka Essuman, an advocate for Jesus Christ.

Seven Words from the Cross: The Powerful Messages of Jesus in His Final Moments

The final moments of Jesus’s life on earth were marked by immense suffering and anguish as He hung on the cross. Despite the excruciating pain, He spoke seven powerful words that continue to inspire and comfort Christians around the world. These seven words offer insight into the depth of Jesus’s love, His mission on earth, and His ultimate victory over death. In this post, I have sought to set out these seven words and explain them as best as I understand them.

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

The first of Jesus’s seven words on the cross is a powerful expression of forgiveness. While He hung on the cross, Jesus prayed for those who were responsible for his suffering and death, asking his Father in Heaven to forgive them. What is striking is that Jesus adds, “for they do not know what they are doing”? The soldiers knew they were killing Jesus but little did they know that they were rather giving Him the opportunity to save mankind. Jesus asked the Father to forgive them for their ignorance, and perhaps their immediate act of killing Him. This act of mercy is a powerful reminder that even in our darkest moments, we are called to show compassion and forgiveness towards others.

  1. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

The second word of Jesus on the cross is a message of hope and salvation. As He hung between two criminals, Jesus assured one of them that he would be with Him in paradise that very day. This word reminds us that no matter how far we may have strayed from God, there is always the possibility of redemption and eternal life. We have to recognise that we are sinners and then believe in our hearts that Jesus is the only one who can save us from our sins and draw us closer to Him. Jesus yearns for us to be with Him in paradise however, the ball is in our court. We have to make that decision to confess Him as our Lord and saviour.

  1. “Woman, here is your son. . . . Here is your mother.” (John 19:26-27)

The third word of Jesus on the cross is a reminder of the importance of community and caring for one another. He entrusted His mother to the care of His beloved disciple, John, and by this act, Jesus showed His love and concern for those closest to Him, even in his final moments. We were created to serve one another and care for one another. All throughout this Lenten period, we are supposed to pray for one another and give willingly to one another.

  1. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34)

The fourth word of Jesus on the cross is a cry of despair and anguish. He felt the weight of the sins of the world upon His shoulders and cried out to His Father in Heaven, questioning why He had been abandoned. The truth is God had not abandoned Jesus. God is holy and cannot be near sin. When Jesus carried all our sins upon His shoulders, it created a space between Him and the Father. But Jesus called out to His Father and His Father heard Him. This word reminds us that even in our darkest moments, we can turn to God in our pain and suffering. When sin creates a gap between our Father in Heaven and us, the devil would want us to be quiet and suffer in sin. But God wants us to recognise that He has the power to liberate us from the shackles of sin and desires for us to call out to Him. When we call out to God, and confess our sins – lay it all bare before Him – He is faithful and just, and will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

  1. “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)

The fifth word of Jesus on the cross is a reminder of His humanity and physical suffering. As Jesus hung on the cross, He experienced thirst and dehydration, reminding us that He truly experienced the full range of human emotions and sensations. And because He was human and experienced what human beings go through, He is in a better position to intervene on our behalf before our Father. Therefore, we should not hesitate to call on Jesus because He is our advocate.

  1. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

The sixth word of Jesus on the cross is a proclamation of victory and completion. With Jesus nearing the end of His earthly life, He declared that His mission on earth had been fulfilled. This word reminds us that Jesus’s death was not a defeat but a triumph over sin and death. We can rejoice in this victory.

  1. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)

The seventh and final word of Jesus on the cross is a statement of trust and surrender. As He breathed His last breath, Jesus entrusted His spirit to His Father in heaven, demonstrating His complete and utter faith in God. This word reminds us that no matter what trials we may face in life, we can trust in God’s love and mercy to guide us.

In conclusion, Jesus’s seven words on the cross offer a powerful testimony to His love, His mission, and His ultimate triumph over sin and death. May we always remember these words and find strength and hope in them, even in our darkest moments.

Written by Kow Abaka Essuman, an advocate for Jesus Christ.

Reflecting on Maundy Thursday: Lessons of Love and Humility from the Last Supper

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is a significant day in the Christian calendar. It falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, and it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples before his crucifixion.

The Last Supper is a crucial event in the Bible, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-30, and John 13:1-26. During this meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, a gesture of humility and service that has become a symbol of Christian love and charity. He also instituted the sacrament of Holy Communion, in which he shared bread and wine with his disciples, telling them that the bread represented his body, and the wine represented his blood, both of which would be given up for their salvation.

Maundy Thursday is a time for Christians to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the lessons that can be drawn from the Last Supper. It is a time to remember that Jesus demonstrated his love and humility by serving his disciples, and that we too should follow his example by serving others. As Jesus said in John 13:14-15, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”

On this day, Christians are also reminded of the importance of Holy Communion, which represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This sacrament is a symbol of the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins, and it is a way for us to connect with him and with each other. As Jesus said in Matthew 26:26-28, “Take, eat; this is my body. Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Maundy Thursday is a solemn and reflective day, and it is an opportunity for Christians to deepen their faith and commitment to God. It is a time to remember that Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and that we too should follow his example by serving others with love and humility. As we approach Easter Sunday, let us remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and let us be inspired by his love and service to others.

In conclusion, Maundy Thursday is a significant day in the Christian calendar, marking the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. It is a time for Christians to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the lessons of humility and service that can be drawn from the Last Supper, and the importance of Holy Communion as a symbol of our connection with Jesus and with each other. Let us use this day to deepen our faith and commitment to God, and to follow the example of Jesus by serving others with love and humility.

Written by Kow Abaka Essuman, an advocate for Jesus Christ.

#PatrioticSpaces: The Evolution of PMMC

The Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC) has been an important player in the gold industry in Ghana for many years. As a state-owned enterprise, it is responsible for the marketing and export of precious minerals, including gold, diamonds, and other precious stones. This evening, I had the opportunity to chat with the Managing Director of PMMC, Nana Akwasi Awuah, who provided a brief history of PMMC and shared some exciting updates about the company.

According to Nana Awuah, PMMC was established in 1963 as Ghana Diamond Marketing Board, charged with the sole responsibility to purchase and market Ghana’s diamonds. Over the years, the company has evolved and expanded its operations to include the marketing and export of other precious minerals especially gold. In 1989, the company was renamed the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited.

One of the key takeaways from my conversation with Nana Awuah was the process for becoming a licensed gold buyer or trader with a PMMC Licence. He explained that this licence only applies to trade within Ghana. To export gold, one needs a licence from the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources. This is an important process that ensures that the gold trade in Ghana is well regulated and transparent.

Nana Awuah also explained the Asantehene gold coins, which were minted to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the enstoolment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene. The coins were produced by a private company, but PMMC was responsible for the marketing and sale of the coins. This is an example of how PMMC works with other stakeholders in the industry to promote the gold trade in Ghana.

Another exciting update from Nana Awuah was that PMMC will be selling gold tablets from Easter. These tablets will serve as an alternative form of investment for people who want to invest in gold but may not have the means to purchase large amounts of physical gold. This is a great opportunity for individuals to invest in gold and diversify their portfolios.

We also discussed the Gold for Oil policy, which was implemented to solve two key problems: the pressures on forex and the supply of oil. However, it is helping to solve other problems, such as illegal small-scale mining, as now gold can be obtained from compliant mines. This policy has been successful in promoting the gold trade in Ghana and has helped to position the country as a key player in the global gold industry.

Finally, Nana Awuah shared his vision for PMMC. He hopes to make PMMC a world-class company and to see a robust gold trading market in Ghana in the near future. With the company’s rich history, experience, and expertise in the gold industry, there is no doubt that PMMC is well positioned to achieve this vision.

In conclusion, my chat with Nana Akwasi Awuah, Managing Director of PMMC, was informative and insightful. The evolution of PMMC over the years is a testament to the company’s commitment to promoting the gold trade in Ghana. With the new developments and updates, PMMC is poised to continue to play a vital role in the gold industry in Ghana and beyond.

Listen to the #PatrioticSpacesĀ here.

#PatrioticSpaces is a platform dedicated to promoting patriotic conversations, national development and civic engagement on Twitter every Wednesday at 7pm. It is hosted by Kow Essuman (@kaessuman).

From Global Shaper To Young Global Leader

Today, the Forum of Young Global Leaders from the World Economic Forum announced the Class of 2023, which includes myself, in recognition of my exceptional leadership in the legal profession and commitment to promoting good governance and economic growth in Ghana and beyond. This year’s class consists of almost 100 young leaders from 45 countries, hailing from various backgrounds including business, government, academia, and civil society. You can find more information by clicking here.

The Young Global Leaders (YGL) is a community of individuals under the age of 40 recognized by the World Economic Forum for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments, and commitment to society, with potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through inspiring leadership. The YGL program aims to develop and connect the next generation of leaders, empowering them to create a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive world.

There is a remarkable story behind my selection as part of this year’s class, which I will save for another time. However, I will say that we must always allow God to be God and stop trying to do things for Him. Sometimes when opportunities pass us by, it is not because we are unqualified or unworthy, but rather because God might be preparing us for an even better opportunity. Therefore, we should always thank God and look out for His will in our lives.

I distinctly remember how I became involved with the World Economic Forum. About a decade ago, my friend Fred Deegbe Jnr, of Heel The World, invited me to dinner at African Regent Hotel. There, he introduced me to a beautiful young woman who was his friend. Little did I know that this would be an interview to see if I was a good fit for the newly created Accra Hub of the Global Shapers Community. We chatted for a while, and I shared my views strongly, on how everyone should make an impact in their society or wherever they find themselves. The young woman eventually left, and Fred and I chatted a bit before saying our goodbyes. The following day, Fred informed me that I had been selected as a Global Shaper and would be part of the Accra Hub. He told me more about the Global Shapers and congratulated me. Apparently, the meeting had gone well, and the young woman was essentially interviewing me.

When I eventually found out who the other young Shapers in my cohort were, I honestly felt inadequate. These were people who were shining in their various fields, with businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, disruptors, and more. I gathered all the courage I could and tried to fit in. At one point, I even complained to Fred, saying that I did not think I fit in because everyone else was “serious” and going places, whereas I was just a lawyer. However, Fred disagreed with me and encouraged me, stating that my expertise was needed in the group. He advised me to relax and play my part, and that is what I did.

In 2015, 80 Global Shapers from different Hubs were selected to represent the Global Shapers Community at the Africa Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, and I was among them. That was when I began to understand Fred’s advice. I made great friends at the meeting, some of whom I still keep in touch with today. After we returned to our respective countries, we collaborated on co-authoring a book titled “The Africa 80: Transformation Through Collaboration,” which was foreworded by Ashish Thakkar. My chapter in the book can be found on pages 138 to 141. We also established an Africa 80 Foundation to provide young Africans with a platform for their voices to be heard. My good friend and fellow Global Shaper from the Soweto Hub in South Africa, Cindy Pearl Maphumulo still carries that torch and I serve on the Advisory Board of the Foundation.

I actively participated in the Accra Hub, and later, when Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was elected President, he appointed me to serve as his Legal Counsel, a position I still hold to date. During this time, I maintained my engagement with the World Economic Forum and even accompanied the President to Davos in January 2020.

Therefore, being recognized as a Young Global Leader is a significant honor for me. Noting the exciting experience I had as a Global Shaper, I am really looking forward to collaborating with my fellow YGLs to create a more prosperous and equitable future for everyone.

Written by Kow Abaka Essuman, #YGL2023 #WEF