The Fulfillment of God’s Covenant

John 11: 45-56
Ez 37: 21-28 / Jer 31

… it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may be saved.
(John 11: 50)

Many things may not be understood,
Such is the mystery of God’s plan;
But all things will work out for the good,
The reason why Jesus became man.

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. So from that day on they plotted to take His life. Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead He withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where He stayed with his disciples. When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t He coming to the Feast at all?” (John 11: 45-56)

Reflections

The motive of the religious leaders was political, and for them, it was even noble, but without realizing it, their evil plot was actually working into the plan of a much greater design. Short-sighted as they were, the Jewish authorities were so worried about their positions of authority that they failed to see that Jesus, Who raised a man from the dead could only be God Himself walking in their midst. Instead, they took matters into their own hands and plotted to kill the Messiah, Whom their Scriptures had been prophesying all along. Caiaphas, the high priest, predicted that Jesus had to die for the nation, but the death of Jesus did not prevent the Romans from eventually destroying Jerusalem. It did however fulfill the prophecy of the prophet Ezekiel (first reading). “Thus says the Lord God: I will take the children of Israel from among the nations to which they have come, and gather them to bring them back to their land. I will make them one nation” (Ezek.37:21). It also brought about the prophecy of Jeremiah, (Resp. Psa.) who said, “He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together, he guards them as a shepherd his flock” (Jer.31:10). Jesus Himself said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn. 12:32). All of these predictions fulfilled the covenant that Yahweh God gave to His people. No greater covenant of love was accomplished than the death of His own Beloved Son on the cross in Calvary.

As we prepare for Palm Sunday, and the coming Passion of our Lord Jesus, let us reflect on the covenant that we have made with Him. Realizing the depth of His love, Who willingly accepted pain and death for our sins, let us ask ourselves if we have willingly sacrificed our own comforts for the sake of those in need.

Lord, may we always be ready to set aside our comfortable lives to follow Your will, to willingly suffer for others, that we may also share in Your victory and glory. Amen.

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