592 Jesus did not abolish the Law of Sinai, but rather fulfilled it (cf Mt 5:17—19) with such perfection (cf Jn 8:46) that he revealed its ultimate meaning (cf Mt 5:33) and redeemed the transgressions against it (cf Heb 9:15). 593 Jesus venerated the Temple by going up to it for the Jewish frasts of pilgrimage, and with a jealous love he loved this dwelling of God among men. The Temple prefigures his own mystery. When he announces its destruction, it is as a manifestation of his own execution and of the entry into a new age in the history of salvation, when his Body would be the definitive Temple. 594 Jesus performed acts, such as pardoning sins, that man~fested him to be the Saviour God himself (cf Jn 5:16—18). Certain Jews, who did not recognize God made man (cf Jn 1:14), saw in him only a man who made himself God Un 10:33), and judged him as a blasphemer.

Paragraph 2. Jesus Died Crucified

I. The Trial of Jesus Divisions among the Jewish authorities concerning Jesus

595 Among the religious authorities of Jerusalem, not only were the Pharisee Nicodemus and the prominent Joseph of Arimathea both secret disciples of Jesus, but there was also long-standing dissension about him, so much so that St John says of these authorities on the very eve of Christ’s Passion, ‘many... believed in him’, though very imperfectly.~~8 This is not surprising, if one recalls that on the day after Pentecost ‘a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith’ and ‘some believers. . . belonged to the party of the Pharisees’, to the point that St James could tell St Paul, ‘How many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed; and they are all zealous for the Law.’379 596 The religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take towards Jesus.~’° The Pharisees threatened to excommunicate his followers.~” To those who feared that ‘everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation’, the high


priest Caiaphas replied by prophesying: ‘It is expedient for you that one man

should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.~382 The Sanhedrin, having declared Jesus deserving of death as a blasphemer but having lost the right to put anyone to death, hands him over to the Romans, accusing him of political revolt, a charge that puts him in the same category as Barabbas