Jesus is Promised: The Past (sermon outline)
Jesus is Promised: Past
Genesis 3:14-15, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:2-4, 6-7
- As we enter this Christmas season I want us to look at the story of Jesus
- I would like to look at it like Charles Dickens might with the Christmas Carol…Past, present, and future
- We will look at the past and the foretelling of Jesus
- What are just a few of the ways that Jesus was predicted
- We will look at the present interms of how was Jesus told that he was here
- We will try to put ourselves in the shoes of Mary and Joseph
- Finally we will look at Jesus in the future.
- We will reflect on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus but mostly on the resurrection
- This part of the story of Jesus will lead to talk about what does our future look like now that Jesus has been resurrected.
- Today let’s look at the prophecies of Jesus.
- There are close to 300 Old Testament Prophecies that predicted Jesus and he fulfilled them all except the ones about his return.
Ill. Professor Emeritus of Science at Westmont College, Peter Stoner, has calculated the probability of one man fulfilling the major prophecies made concerning the Messiah. The estimates were worked out by twelve different classes representing some 600 university students.
The students carefully weighed all the factors, discussed each prophecy at length, and examined the various circumstances which might indicate that men had conspired together to fulfill a particular prophecy. They made their estimates conservative enough so that there was finally unanimous agreement even among the most skeptical students.
However Professor Stoner then took their estimates, and made them even more conservative. He also encouraged other skeptics or scientists to make their own estimates to see if his conclusions were more than fair. Finally, he submitted his figures for review to a committee of the American Scientific Affiliation. Upon examination, they verified that his calculations were dependable and accurate in regard to the scientific material presented (Peter Stoner, Science Speaks, Chicago: Moody Press, 1969, 4).
For example, concerning Micah 5:2, where it states the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem Ephrathah, Stoner and his students determined the average population of BETHLEHEM from the time of Micah to the present; then they divided it by the average population of the earth during the same period.
They concluded that the chance of one man being born in Bethlehem was one in 300,000, (or one in 2.8 x 10^5 – rounded),
After examining only eight different prophecies (Idem, 106), they conservatively estimated that the chance of one man fulfilling all eight prophecies was one in 10^17.
To illustrate how large the number 10^17 IS (a figure with 17 zeros), Stoner gave this illustration :
If you mark one of ten tickets, and place all the tickets in a hat, and thoroughly stir them, and then ask a blindfolded man to draw one, his chance of getting the right ticket is one in ten. Suppose that we take 10^17 silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They’ll cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would’ve had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom (Idem, 106-107).
- let’s look at 4 prophecies in the Old Testament
- The Serpent – Genesis 3:14-15
- Even from the Garden of Eden, God knew the plan that was to take place
- Notice that he condemns the serpent to a life on its belly in the dust.
- Back in Genesis 3:1 you will notice that the serpent was the most crafty of all creatures
- It is unclear what is exactly meant by this craftiness,
- The serpent was probably a beautiful creature in which the woman was not afraid of.
- The punishment is a loss of this great beauty.
- The gospels, new testament writers, and some old testament writers attribute the control of this serpent to Satan, the great enemy.
- In verse 15 the writer turns to describing the great battle that sets up the rest of the Bible
- The battle is between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman.
- In essence the seed of the serpent is Satan and his plans and the seed of the woman is the Messiah, Jesus.
- The enemy will harm or bruise the seed of the woman on the heel.
- A painful blow, but not deadly and a show of how little the enemy could really do.
- The seed of the woman will then crush the snake’s head.
- This is a crushing blow of which the serpent would die
- We ultimately see this happen in the promise of Jesus.
- He comes and is bruised by dying on the cross and Satan must have thought he had finally defeated God by killing the Son of God.
- However, Jesus rose from the grave.
- This is a promise for us today.
- Jesus is the overcomer.
- I think this prophecy in a way extends even to us today.
- Satan may bruise us, but through Christ there is victory.
- He will crush Satan under your feet. Romans 16:19-20
- The promise of Jesus as the Messiah goes all the way back to Genesis.
- II Corinthians 4:8-9
- The Child – Isaiah 7:14
- The writer of Isaiah intermingles prophecy in with his current day situations.
- In this verse the promise of a child via a virgin birth is given
- The child will be a sign of deliverance.
- This punishment that was coming to the people of Israel by Rezin and Pekah, two opposing kings, was going to crush the people
- The promise of deliverance would take a while to occur.
- Many scholars have debated this verse as to whether it speaks about a future day or a for a current situation of the author.
- Of the many explanations all of them pale in comparison to the prophecy of Jesus:
- This was a not a prophecy of Isaiah’s wife because she was not a virgin
- This was not a prophecy of Hezekiah the future king because he had already been born
- This was not a prophecy for King Ahaz because it was given to the entire house of David which would far outlast the rule of Ahaz
- And several other reasons
- This prophetic moment was meant to be about Jesus and him alone.
- Many times we seek a sign from the Lord for an occurrence in our life.
- Notice that God dealt with Ahaz in a specific way
- God will show you what he wants you to see, but will keep hidden what you may want revealed.
- God has sent the ultimate sign to us through his Son Jesus!
- When we turn to the Isaiah 9 passage you see how big of a sign that God has given through Jesus.
Stock Market Crash
American economist Irving Fisher confidently predicted that “stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau” in 1929. Unfortunately he made this statement just three days before the Stock Market Crash of the same year. Even as the Crash took hold followed by the Great Depression, Fisher continued to reassure investors that recovery was just around the corner.
Mere months before the first iPhone was released in 2007 Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, said, “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance.” Apple has sold more than 116 million iPhones this year alone. Ballmer has soldiered on at Microsoft but it was announced last month that he is to retire within the year
For years before the stroke of midnight heralded in the new millennium, analysts were convinced it would cause destruction. The American deputy Secretary of Defence John Hamre said it would be the “electronic equivalent of the El Nino.” The mass hysteria stemmed from the fact that computer systems were built to record dates using only the last two digits of each year so they could recognise ’77’ as ‘1977’ but ’00’ would set them into a tailspin. Hundreds of billions of pounds were spent on making software ‘Y2K compliant’ but all fears were unfounded with very few recorded malfunctions.
In 1962 the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records and were rejected. An executive told the band’s manager Brian Epstein, “the Beatles have no future in Showbusiness.” He went on to explain, “Groups are out; four-piece groups with guitars, particularly, are finished.” Decca records selected the local band Brian Poole and the Tremeloes for their label instead and the Beatles became one of the greatest bands of all time
In 1966 Time Magazine imagined what the world might look like in the year 2000. Among other prediction it said: “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop – because women like to get out of the house, like to handle merchandise.” Online shopping has not turned out to be a flop- men and women flock to it. Currently UK online retail sales stand at approximately £586.6m per week
Sinking of the Titanic
Phillip Franklin, vice president of the White Star Line which produced the RMS Titanic predicted that it would never sink. He said: “There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.” On hearing of the Titanic’s demise he simply said: “I do not understand it”. Franklin was among many, including the ship’s captain, who made the same prediction.
The Great Storm
The prediction that made Michael Fish famous was also the one that made him infamous, because it was wrong. In 1987 He cheerfully told BBC viewers that they had nothing to be concerned about after a woman had phoned to ask about whether a hurricane was on its way. He said: “Earlier on today, a woman rang the BBC and said she’d heard that there was a hurricane on the way. Well if you’re watching, don’t worry – there isn’t.”. Mere hours later gale force winds of up to 122mph battered Britain, caused £1.8 billion of damage and killed 19 people. Fish has been dogged by questions about the Great Storm incident to this day but insists no one was to blame.
- Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/7-of-the-worst-predictions-ever-2013-9#ixzz2kZ5Uwcd8
- The People – Isaiah 9:2-4
- The writer describes a dark time in which the people would live, that Jesus would come and shine through.
- At that time there would be an explosion of the nation of God.
- There would be gladness and an over abundance of blessings
- In verse 1 we see that the writer makes the prophecy more than just about the land of Israel and the Jewish people but also across the Jordan to the Gentiles.
- The promise to the people was that God was coming in a great expression of his goodness
- There would be an overthrow of the oppression on the people. It is clear that this oppression may come at the hands of human hands but ultimately the oppression of sin would be broken.
- Jesus even refers later on to his yoke being light
- At the end of the book of Malachi there is a pause in the message of the Lord for 400 years.
- Truly the people of God were in a dark place
- There was no distinct message from the Lord and the prophets had stopped speaking.
- There were questions of the validity of the Hebrews and a great oppression of regime after regime from the Greeks, to the Romans.
- Sure there were glimmers of hope with certain rebellions such as the Maccabbees which led to Hannukah.
- But nothing could shine on the scene like Jesus shining on the scene
- Jesus bursts through the darkness to bring a great light.
- Salvation was finally going to come and the light of life was going to take over
- There was going to be a crushing of any opposition and the Lord was going to reign supreme!
- Glory to God in the highest the Messiah had come.
- Jesus is still breaking through the darkness today.
- All of our lives were dark before we came to know Christ and his light shined into our lives
- Many of your lives today are still dark and you need the touch of the Holy Spirit on your life
- Glory to God he wants to break through the darkness
- He wants to take over
- He wants to tear down the walls
- He wants to overcome the addictions and the problems
- He wants to walk with you.
- Let his light shine in you.
- He was promised to break through and he has and there has been an explosion of billions of believers that has transformed this world.
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look what you got!”
- Source Unknown.
- The Messiah – Isaiah 9:6-7
- The writer’s prophecy now turns to the specifics of who this Messiah was going to be
- Wonderful Counselor
- Mighty God
- Eternal Father
- Prince of Peace
- Everything that we ever needed he is
- Everything we ever wanted he is
- Everything that was lacking in our own life he is
- Everything that we want to see in a leader he is
- The prophecy of Jesus is that there will never be an end to his kingdom and he will reign forever.
- He will be the king above all kings
- He will be in the line of David and he was
- These prophecies are fulfilled in no other person except Jesus
- What is lacking in you?
- Where are you needing the Lord?
- What do you need him to be for you?
- Do you need peace?
- Do you need a father, a mother?
- Do you need love?
- The Messiah has now come and wants to be in your life.
- M. Stearns was preaching in Philadelphia. At the close of the service a stranger came up to him and said, “I don’t like the way you spoke about the cross. I think that instead of emphasizing the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example.” Stearns replied, “If I presented Christ in that way, would you be willing to follow Him?” “I certainly would,” said the stranger without hesitation. “All right then,” said the preacher, “let’s take the first step. He did no sin. Can you claim that for yourself?” The man looked confused and somewhat surprised. “Why, no,” he said. “I acknowledge that I do sin.” Stearns replied, “Then your greatest need is to have a Savior, not an example!”