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3-Point Mass prep: The Old Testament texts fulfilled in Jesus

Krzyż w Aspromonte we Włoszech

Antonio Arico | Shutterstock

Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 04/01/23

This is a handy list, showing how Jesus chose to fulfill even tiny details foretold of him. And he asks each of us what he asked Peter.

The Gospel for this Sunday, Palm Sunday, is Matthew 21:1-11

What prophecies were fulfilled in Jesus?   

1.     A word of introduction

“In order that the Scripture might be fulfilled” – this expression is the key to understanding the oneness of the Old and New Testaments. What was foretold in the Old Testament was fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. Today’s Gospel gives many examples of this. 

2.    Keywords

“Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” (…) “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. (Mt 26: 21-23)

Thus, were fulfilled the words of Psalm 41:10 – “Even my trusted friend, who ate my bread, has raised his heel against me.” 

Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (Mt 27: 13-14)

So-called the fourth Song of the Servant of Yahweh, in the book of the prophet Isaiah 53:7, foreshadows this: “Though harshly treated, he submitted and did not open his mouth; like a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers, he did not open his mouth.” 

Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him. (Mt 26:67-68)

In the first reading from Isaiah 50:6, we read very similar words: “I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who tore out my beard; my face I did not hide from insults and spitting.” 

Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. (Mt 27:48) 

Even such minor details were already foretold to be fulfilled in regard to the Messiah. We read of this in Psalm 69:22: “They gave me poison for my food; and for my thirst they gave me vinegar.” 

After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots. (Mt 27:35)

The Roman soldiers who cast lots for Jesus’ clothes did not know that in this way they were fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 22:19: “They divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.” 

There are many other passages in the Old Testament that reinforce our faith and trust in Jesus.  

3.     Today

All these prophecies confirm that Jesus is the announced Messiah. However, He asks each of us, just as He asked Peter: And who do you think I am? Who am I to you? 

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