Who Needs Christmas:
The details of the Christmas story are amazing . . . and can seem a bit unbelievable. There is the angelic announcement to Mary that she will give birth to the Messiah. The dream from God that convinces Joseph to take Jesus as his own son. The angelic host who announces Jesus' birth to the shepherds. The madness of a king who tried to put an end to Jesus' life.
The narrative of Jesus' birth is miraculous. But as pastor Andy Stanley explores in this four-session video study (study guide sold separately), when you look at all the events in the Old Testament leading up to this point in time, the unbelievable story of Christmas becomes quite remarkable.
It was only "when the set time had fully come" that God sent Jesus into the world "that we might receive adoption to sonship" (Galatians 4:4-5). God sent Jesus to do what laws and regulations, judges and prophets, and exile and punishment could not accomplish. He sent Jesus not merely to deliver us from the penalty and consequences of our sin, but to actually break the power of the enemy and free us from our slavery to sin.
Through Christmas, we are reminded that even when it seems God is silent, he is always working. God sent Jesus not simply to be the Savior of the world but to be the Savior in our world. Through Christmas, we are reminded that God always keeps his promises to us.
Why Easter Matters:
As believers in Christ, we all would like to say that we trust in God. We would all like to claim that we believe God has our best interests in mind and that obedience to him is the best pathway to finding joy, peace, and fulfillment in life. But the truth is that we often find ourselves actively resisting the very God in whom we say we trust.
This was true of people even back in the days of first-century Israel when Jesus walked the earth. In this four-session study (study guide sold separately), pastor Andy Stanley explores the lives of some of these individuals and reveals how the story of Easter became real to them when they found themselves caught up in the events of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. These characters include figures in the Gospels such as: Joseph Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, the two criminals on the crosses next to Jesus, and the disciples and other followers of Jesus, who found their world turned upside down when the one they believed to be the Messiah was first put to death . . . and then rose again.
Designed for use with Who Needs Christmas Study Guide and Why Easter Matters Study Guide (each sold separately).