Jesus and the Old Testament

– Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent-

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved.’   [Matthew 5:17 – 19]

In the Catholic tradition, and in keeping with the words of Jesus in today’s gospel, we see that Jesus doesn’t abolish the Old Testament but rather fulfils it; the Old Testament remains an integral part of divine revelation.

Let’s consider Moses: he comes on to the scene after Israel has been in Egypt for 430 years; he is born at a time when all Jewish children under the age of two are being slaughtered; he becomes a shepherd and spends forty years in the desert before encountering the voice of God in the burning bush; the first of the ten plagues was water being turned into blood; he institutes the Passover, and he leads Israel through the water of the Red Sea and out of Egyptian slavery; on Mt Sinai Moses receives the Law and delivers it to the people.

Now consider Jesus: he appears 430 years after the last prophet – Malachi; he is born when Jewish children under the age of two are being slaughtered; he becomes the good shepherd and spends forty days in the desert after hearing the voice of God at his baptism; his first miracle  was turning water into wine; he institutes the Eucharist (the New Passover); he preaches the ‘new law’ in the Sermon on the Mount, and frees humanity from the slavery of sin by his death and resurrection.

When Moses’ life is examined in light of the life of Jesus, we discover that Moses’ life prefigures Jesus’ life. And In Christ, the Old Testament is fulfilled.

We are led by the Spirit to see that “the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New” (CCC 129).

by Dcn Peter Pellicaan

get the daily reflections sent directly to your email

Copyright © 2020 · All Rights Reserved

Thank you, we'll be in touch soon

You can close this page now, or if you would like to learn more about us, check out our website.