Christ is Risen, CLP!
Easter Sunday is a day of immense joy for Christians around the world. It is the day when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This miracle not only signifies the triumph of good over evil and life over death, but also holds deep significance for our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationship with the world around us. In this blog post, we will explore the beauty of Easter and how it connects to these relationships. We will also provide a practical exercise to illustrate the point and discuss the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20, NIV), which Aimee Wickersham will share more on in her message on April 16.
The Vertical Relationship: Our Connection with God
Our vertical relationship with God is the most essential aspect of our Christian faith. This connection is deepened and strengthened by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Easter Sunday, we are reminded of the immense love that God has for us, as demonstrated by sending His Son to die for our sins and then raising Him from the dead.
The resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, providing us with hope and the assurance of eternal life. Paul eloquently speaks about the importance of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:17 (NIV): "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." The resurrection is the proof that Jesus conquered sin and death, paving the way for our reconciliation with God.
As we celebrate Easter, we should take time to reflect on our personal relationship with God and seek ways to deepen this connection. Prayer, worship, and reading the Bible are essential tools that can help us grow closer to Him.
The Horizontal Relationship: Our Connection with the World
Our horizontal relationship with the world around us is closely tied to our vertical relationship with God. The love and grace that we receive from Him should overflow into our interactions with others. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a call to action for Christians to love one another and extend that love to the world.
In John 13:34-35 (NIV), Jesus commands us, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." Easter reminds us that we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world, demonstrating His love and compassion to others.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20, NIV) further emphasizes our responsibility towards others. Jesus instructs His disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." As followers of Christ, we are also called to share the good news of His resurrection with others and invite them to join us in the joy of the Christian faith. Join us on Sunday, April 16, as Aimee Wickersham shares what it means to make disciples.
A Practical Exercise: The Cross Illustration
To help illustrate the connection between our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationship with the world, try the following exercise:
The joy of Easter Sunday is a powerful reminder of the importance of our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationship with the world around us. As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us commit ourselves to deepen our connection with God and extending His love to others through acts of service, compassion, spiritual growth and care, and sharing the good news of Christ's victory over sin and death.
By embracing the joy of Easter and living out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20, NIV), we can make a significant impact on the world and bring the hope and love of Christ to all those we encounter. May the message of Easter inspire us to strengthen our vertical and horizontal relationships, as we continue to grow in our faith and fulfill our God-given purpose.
Check out Sunday's 9:15 am Easter Service!