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.
Why Easter Matters - Session 1: The High Cost of Following Christ
For the high priest Caiaphas, following Jesus would have required him to let go of something that was important to him—the religious system that had rewarded, protected, and defined him. If I don’t do something, he thought, we are going to lose everything that is important to us. (John 12:25)
Why Easter Matters - Session 2 - The Risk of Surrendering to God
Have you ever tried to bargain with God? “God, what do I need to do to get
you to do what I need you to do?” We bargain with our prayers. We
bargain with our church attendance. We bargain with our giving. Judas Iscariot tried to get Jesus to do his bidding. And when Jesus wouldn’t do what he want...
Why Easter Matters - Session 3 - The God Who Can Be Trusted
Two criminals. Both beyond the point of changing, both deserving of eternal punishment. One hurls insults at Jesus. But the other trusts Jesus, in spite of everything he'd done. That criminal had nothing to offer Jesus in return--he had no more life left in which to earn Jesus' favor. But Jesus p...
Why Easter Matters - Session 4 - The Foundation of Our Faith
The church didn’t create the Bible. The church didn’t create the story of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus launched the church and created our faith. Before the resurrection, there were no Christians. After Jesus was crucified, there were no believers. His followers gave up hope. Hope didn’t retu...