This year, the world has been rocked to the core by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Not only have they attacked a sovereign state without cause but the economic fall-out has had a worldwide recessional effect – fuel prices and food prices have both rocketed. One-and-all have been shocked by the pictures of wanton death and destruction that has been meted out on an otherwise peaceful land. And, be not mistaken, this invasion was the result of a broken promise.

On the 5th December 1994 Ukraine (with 2 other ex-Soviet bloc countries), in what has become known as the “Budapest Memorandum” agreed to give up their nuclear weapons after the promise by the United Kingdom, the USA AND RUSSIA to abstain from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, “except in self-defence or otherwise in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.” 

On Thursday the 24th February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. The promise was broken.

Let us remind ourselves of our Christmas Promise from God:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16)

Maureen told me last week that this reminded her of a mnemonic coined by an old member of our church: that in this promise we have “the greatest FACT, the greatest ACT, and the greatest PACT”.

We have seen that the greatest FACT of all is that God so loves the world – you and me and everyone…and everything.

In this session we are going to look at the greatest ACT – that He sent and gave His one and only Son.

You see, the world is full of broken promises – as we have now again seen – so why on earth SHOULD we believe that God gave His one and only Son? The reasonable sceptic of all promises will demand evidence – the PROOF that these promises are true. They will demand evidence that the promises made by God have actually come to pass…

This need of proof of promises fulfilled was recognised as long ago as the time of Joshua when it was written after the Exodus from Egypt and the conquest of the Promised Land:

“Not a single one of all the good promises the LORD had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything He had spoken came true” (Joshua 21: 45)

Proof of promises fulfilled fuels our faith for promises yet to be fulfilled…

The writers of the Gospels understood that it was really important to show that what had happened at the birth of Jesus, then in His life, death and Resurrection, was the fulfilment of promises – or prophecies – made hundreds of years before. So (as one example), Matthew writes in chapter 1 and verse 22:

All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet


Let us look at Matthew’s story of the Nativity:

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’

22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.’

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’ they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written:

‘“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.”’

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.’

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

(Matthew 1: 18 – 2: 12)

Here we find Matthew saying to his readers: “Look: Jesus’ birth fulfilled promises made by God hundreds of years ago – promises declaring that He loves us so much that He is going to send us a Saviour – who is going to make us right with Him. And these promises have been fulfilled in Jesus. God is good. God is faithful in keeping His promises. God is worthy of our trust.”

So let us look at some of the declarations made by God, through the Law and the Prophets, that promised the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus – if they came to pass then we have the proof of the claim that God would send the Messiah. The LORD revealed to the Jews…

  • HOW Christ would be born: that it would be by a virgin birth (Isaiah 7: 14).
  • WHERE Christ would be born: in Bethlehem in Judea (Micah 5: 2).
  • HIS HUMAN HERITAGE: He would be of the lineage of King David (2 Samuel 7: 8-16)
  • WHAT HE CAME TO DO: crush Satan! (Genesis 3: 15)
  • WHO HE WOULD BE: For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9: 6-7).
  • HOW HE WOULD LIVE: “The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,                the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash round his waist” (Isaiah 11: 2-5).
  • HIS TRIUMPHAL ENTRY TO JERUSALEM: on a donkey (Zechariah 9: 9-10)
  • THAT HE WOULD DIE IN OUR PLACE: this is given in graphic and accurate detail (Isaiah 53, Zechariah 12: 10 and Psalm 22: 16-18) – despised and rejected by the people, suffering in pain, wounded (by the lashing?), refusing to defend Himself, the very words He cried out on the Cross (“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”), pierced with nails and a spear on the Cross, His clothes divided up, His bones sticking out and dislocated, buried in a rich man’s tomb.
  • THAT HE WOULD BE RESURRECTED: Psalm 16: 10 told the Jews that His body would not see decay.
  • HE WILL COME AGAIN: (Daniel 7: 13-14)…yet to be fulfilled…


It has been calculated that 351 promises relating to the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus are to be found in the Old Testament. The ones we have chosen here are purely the best known. What is important to stress is that ALL of these 351 promises are proven to have been fulfilled!

All these promises had been made to the Jews. All these promises had been written down in the Scriptures so that no-one could say that they were not aware. Yet, the majority of the Jews couldn’t even see what was right in front of their eyes! And so they missed the One whom God had promised them.

Don’t YOU miss the One that God has sent…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16)

The proofs are “evidence that demands a verdict” – from YOU!

Everyone of God’s promises regarding the ACT of sending Jesus have been fulfilled. Promises made by man cannot be trusted – our story of the Bucharest Memorandum shows this – but this story of the birth of Jesus is the proof that God’s promises that are proclaimed throughout Scripture ARE to be trusted. So, trust in the LORD with all of your heart…receive Him afresh into your lives today.

And in our next session we shall see that if we have the proof that God has kept His promises then we can believe in the PACT – His promise that Jesus has come to give us life eternal – in Paradise.