Easter 2021: A Step Toward Hope

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Easter: A Step Toward Hope

weekend in review

This weekend we celebrate Easter. Gene used a bridge to illustrate that God has built a bridge to reach out and connect with us. Jesus paid the bridge toll for us, making it possible for us to cross over into a relationship with God. If you missed the message or would like to watch it again go to eastside.com/easter.

WARM UP

Begin with some conversation, checking in on how people are doing. You can talk about whatever you’d like, but here are potential questions to get the conversation going.

  • What significantly large or notable bridges have you crossed? What were your impressions?
DISCUSS

Select 5-6 questions from the list below to guide your discussion time.

    • Read Isaiah 59:2. God’s will is for people to love him and each other. But we humans manage to regularly cause destruction to ourselves and others in countless ways. This darkness, this sin in our lives is a chasm that separates us from God. What are some of the reasons people don’t choose to love God or each other?

    • Gene explained that for thousands of years, human beings have been attempting to build bridges to God. People have come up with faith system after faith system, religion after religion, based on what man can do (thinks he can do) to build a bridge to God. What are some of the results of this?

    • Romans 6:23a tells us “the wages of sin is death.” Gene explained that Christianity is all about God building a bridge, reaching across the chasm of sin and death that separates us from him. Jesus paid the toll price in full so you and I could cross the bridge that God built and enter into a joyous relationship with him. What do you think of using this as a simple way to explain Christianity to people?

    • Gene declared, “Jesus was crucified to remove everything bad from your past. And then he was raised to supply everything good from God’s glorious future into your life. When you walk across the bridge of faith, God infuses and releases a power into your life, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.” Read Ephesians 1:19-20. Share with the group how your life is different now.

    • Gene said, “If the resurrection is true, the worst thing in your life is never the last. He addressed some things people find overwhelming: addiction, guilt, hate, pain, and death, and assured us that these things don’t get to have the last word in our lives. Which of these speaks the loudest to you?

      – Jesus can release his power into your life and restore everything that sin has broken.
      – God can transform a heart of hate into a heart full of love.
      – One day Jesus will take us to a place where we will have resurrected bodies, no pain, no sickness, no nightmares, nothing to fear or worry about.
      – Heaven is a place to look forward to. The second part of Romans 6:23 is “… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    • In the video of Greg and Laura, the young couple who had been lost in addiction, Laura advises us to pray and trust God to show up. She declares, “God has changed our lives. It’s amazing what he can do with open hearts.” In Harriet’s video, though she has been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, she says of her faith, “It’s not like it used to be: I have a relationship. God is very real in their lives. How would you describe your relationship with him? Do you have a story to tell of God showing up in your life?

    • If you were at a live Easter service at an Eastside campus, did you walk across the bridge? What were your thoughts and how did you feel?

application
  • If you would like to get baptized visit eastside.com/baptism.

  • “Christianity is all about God building a bridge to us” is a handy statement to use when explaining your faith to others. Have your group brainstorm things to say when you are having conversations about faith.
WRAP UP & PRAYER

Share prayer requests and spend time praying for each other.

Pray for all the people who walked across the bridge of faith this weekend: for those who are new to faith, and for those who crossed the bridge for other reasons Gene spoke of.

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