Summary: We can count on God to keep his promises. He gave Mary the promise, "I will be with you." And he gives the same promise to us.
The Christmas Angels – Part 2 CCCH 12-12-99
Growing up as a Gen X’er wasn’t always easy for me. But as a boy living at the end of the 1970’s there were still a few things I could count on to bring order to my life:
1. That the Cowboys or the Steelers would be in the Super Bowl.
2. That Kiss would always be cooler than the Village People.
3. And that the Brady Bunch would be on when I came home from school
Illus – Brady Bunch episode - Vote for Jan Brady for most popular girl in school. Many other students ask her what she’ll do if they vote for her. Each time she sayd, "Sure. I’ll do that. i.e. My brother is good at math, he’ll help you. If you vote for me, I’ll babysit for your little brother, etc." After election – those were just campaign promises. They don’t mean anything. She became least popular. Her dad told her she could use a little character building.
A. What a person does with a promise reveals a lot about his or her character.
We learned last week that even though times and cultures may change, God’s character remains the same. In the account of the angel’s visit to the virgin Mary, we see that…
B. THESIS: We can trust God to perform His promises.
TRANSITION: There are two fields of promise in this text that show us we can trust God.
I. WE HAVE BEEN PROMISED HIS SON
A. Jesus was promised long before his birth.
1. Throughout the pages of the Old Testament, God reveals a promise to His people.
a. He said to David concerning his offspring, “I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son…Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:14, 16)
b. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
2. When Gabriel shows up to visit Mary, it is announcement that God’s promises are being kept.
a. “You (a virgin) will be with child and give birth to a son. (v. 31)
b. “He…will be called the Son of the Most High.” (v. 32)
c. “The Lord will give him the throne of his father David” (v. 32)
d. “He will reign…forever; his kingdom will never end.” (v. 33)
B. God kept his promises in Jesus
1. It’s very unlikely that anyone other than someone sent by God could fulfill all of the promises God made about the Messiah.
Illus - Two guys were in a bar. After a while, they started chatting with one another. One said, "Where are you from?" The guy said, "I am from Pittsburgh." The one said, "Really, I am from Pittsburgh." He said, "I lived there in the 60’s and 70’s. I graduated in 1978." He said, "Are you kidding me? I graduated in 1978 from Lincoln High." The guy said, "I went to Lincoln High. This is unbelievable. Where did you live?" He said, "I lived at 463 Elm Street." He said, "That is amazing to me! I lived at 463 Elm Street." All of the sudden, the phone rang. It was the bartender’s wife. She said, "Anything going on?" He said, "No. It is a slow night. The Johnson twins are here again and they are both drunk."
No one else other than Jesus matches up with all the promises that were made about the Messiah.
You might be saying, "Somebody else could have done that. Somebody else could have fulfilled those prophecies that were spoken thousands of years before, some hundreds of years before, a long period of time where they were giving clues and prophecies about this Messiah. They tell us where he would be born, how he would be born, what his life would look like, how he would die, what family line he would come from.
Dr. Peter Stoner, Mathematics professor of Pasadena Community College calculated that for one person to even fulfill eight of the prophecies of Christ, of the Messiah, being fulfilled is one in ten to the 157th power. That is a big number. There is not much chance that even one person could fulfill eight of the prophecies.
Let me give you an illustration that I have used before, but I think it helps us get a picture. I’m assuming a mathematician with not much of a social life figured this out. The odds of someone fulfilling even 8 of the prophecies would be like the odds of taking the state of Texas and filling the state of Texas with silver dollars, two feet deep throughout the whole state. We take one of those silver dollars and put a big X on the back of it. Then we stuff it into the state of Texas and get some of the big guys here in church and mix it all up. Then we will take Hank Wilson and blindfold him. We send him to