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RAP SHEET 3/10/24

Series: Investigating Easter

Sermon: Christmas Every Day

Scripture: John 1

ICE BREAKER: What is your favorite thing about the Christmas season?


This week, we began a new series called "Investigating Easter." We are exploring the life of Jesus from the perspective of someone who may be skeptical about Christianity's claims. To begin, we went back to the beginning of the story and acknowledged that you can't fully understand Easter unless you understand Christmas.

To help us, we broke down the first chapter of John's gospel account. The first verse alone contains essential themes that will guide our understanding. First, John echoes the very opening of the Bible itself by using the same three words, "In the beginning..." John is intentionally linking the Christmas story with the creation story!

We also looked at John's keyword in this passage—LOGOS. In Greek thought, the Logos referred both to a principle of logic and reason and spiritually to the underlying structure of the cosmos. The Logos held all things together.

John leverages this common thought to help the Greek culture around him connect to Jesus. He says, "In the beginning was the LOGOS, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God... The Logos became flesh and dwelt among us..." In this passage, John takes an abstract philosophy of where logic, reason, and creation come from and explains that the root of those things is a person named Jesus.

The Greek idea of LOGOS was an impersonal force; however, we have good reason to believe there is a personal consciousness behind the universe's formation. To help us understand that, we looked at a simple cosmological argument:

Everything That Begins to Exist Has a CREATOR

The Universe Began to Exist

Therefore, The Universe Has a CREATOR

On Sunday, we discussed this in detail. The argument boils down to the scientific reality that, at one point, the universe did not exist and then exploded into existence out of nothing. Whatever caused this instant creation would, by necessity, be TIMELESS, SPACELESS, IMMATERIAL, and ALL-POWERFUL. Importantly, the creator would have to be personal since it is a choice to go from a state of nothingness to the creation of the cosmos. Impersonal forces are blind; they do not make decisions.

So, WHY is it important to the Easter story that we have an in-depth understanding of the Christmas story? First, it shows that Easter is connected all the way back to the beginning of space and time. The same Jesus who hung on the cross was with God in the beginning, creating all things. Second, belief in the resurrection is a significant obstacle for many skeptics. However, the Christmas story points us to creation, and the most plausible explanation for a Universe exploding out of nothing is an uncaused, all-powerful, personal force - God!

When you begin to realize that God created the entire massive universe, a virgin birth seems tame by comparison. When you understand that Jesus spoke everything into creation, walking out of a grave becomes an option. For the skeptic, understanding the true Christmas story may crack open the door to the possibility of the Easter story!


How did understanding John Chapter One shape your view of Christmas?

How did a better understanding of Christmas shape your view of Easter?

How do you feel knowing that God's rescue plan for your life goes back to before the universe began?

What is ONE WAY this week's message will shape your experience of Easter this year?


Spend some time thanking Jesus for coming down at Christmas. Reflect on what you have learned this week and ask the Holy Spirit to continue changing you day by day.


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