Fulfillment of the Prophecy

John 11: 45-56
Ez 37:21-28 / Jer 31:10-13

…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 Mary and seen what Jesus had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him. So Jesus no longer walked about in public among the Jews, but he left for the region near the desert, to a town called Ephraim, and there he remained with his disciples. Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before Passover to purify themselves. They looked for Jesus and said to one another as they were in the temple area, “What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?” (John 11:45-56)

Reflections

When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, this news was brought to the Pharisees, who, together with the chief priests convened the Sanhedrin. This was the last straw. The motive of the religious leaders was political, and for them even noble, but without realizing it, their evil plot was actually working into the plan of a much greater design.

The Jewish leaders were so short-sighted. Worried about their positions of authority, 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, that 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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