Over 2,000 years before Jesus was born, Abraham was called by God to leave his country and journey to a land that God would give him. In his calling, the Lord said:
2 I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
– Genesis 12:2-3
At this point in his life, Abraham had no children and his wife, Sarah, could not conceive. This promise from God must have seemed completely ridiculous. That they would even have a child seemed unlikely. That all of the people on the earth would be blessed by them was unfathomable.
Ultimately, God blessed them with a son who they named Isaac (who then had a son named Jacob). This was just one of the many unlikely things that had to happen for Jesus to be born to His virgin mother so many years later. When the angel Gabriel told this virgin, Mary, that she would conceive and give birth to a child he said:
31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
– Luke 1:31-33
Over and over God telegraphs His work. Jesus would be born from the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and He would die, blessing us all with eternal life. Jesus would then rise from the dead and a month or so later ascend to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. One day He will return to earth and establish His eternal kingdom.
The Old Testament is a great story of God’s prophesies and promises, many of which are fulfilled with Jesus’ birth.