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Is the Mass a Sacrifice? (Once and for all, Heb 9-10) {Catholic/Orthodox Caucus}
Catholic Answers ^ | 2001 | Jason Evert

Posted on 01/23/2011 2:42:33 AM PST by Cronos

1. Where does the Bible say that the Mass is a sacrifice?

During the Last Supper, the Lord said to his disciples, "Do this in memory of me." In Greek, this statement reads, "Touto poieite eis tan eman anamnesin." There are two.aspects of this phrase that deserve consideration. For one, the phrase touto poieite can be translated as do this or as offer this. In the Old Testament, God commands the Israelites "you shall offer (poieseis) upon the altar two lambs" (Ex. 29:38). This use of poiein is translated as offer this or sacrifice this over seventy times in the Old Testament. So the same word that is used for the sacrifice under the Old Covenant is used for the sacrifice of the Mass in the New.

The second key.aspect of this phrase is Our Lord’s use of the word anamnesin. every time this word (anamnesis) appears it is within a sacrificial context (see, for example, Numbers 10:10). It also can be translated as memorial offering or memorial sacrifice. While these nuances are lost in the English translation, people in Christ's time would have understood the sacrificial meaning of Christ’s words.

Another New Testament passage that testifies to the sacrificial nature of the Mass is 1 Corinthians 10:14–21. Here Paul argues that participation in the Lord’s table means refusing to participate in the sacrifices of demons.

2. If the Mass is a sacrifice, then doesn’t that imply that Christ needs to die again?

It’s a common mistake to equate sacrifice with death. To understand the sacrifice of the Mass, it is essential that one understand the biblical picture of a sacrifice: It is always a gift; it is not always a killing. This is why Scripture can speak of a sacrifice of praise (Hos. 4:12) and the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps. 50:14).

Besides offering lambs, the Israelites also made grain offerings, drink offerings, et cetera. One sacrifice was called the wave offering, and this was an unbloody sacrifice where the Jews would wave a gift before God to symbolically give it to him. In Numbers 8:9–15, the whole Hebrew tribe of Levi was presented to God as a wave offering. In a similar way, the Mass is an offering—a sacrifice—where Christ is presented before the Father.

3. Even if you don’t believe Christ dies during the Mass, the Bible still says that he was offered once for all (Heb 9:24–28). Doesn’t re-sacrificing him at Mass mean Calvary wasn’t enough?

Christ’s bloody sacrifice on Calvary took place once, and it will never be repeated. Jesus’ offering was perfect, efficacious, and eternal.
Jesus is eternally a priest, and a priest’s very nature is to offer sacrifice. In the case of Christ, the eternal sacrifice that he offers is himself. This is why he appears in the book of Revelation as a lamb, standing as though he had been slain (Rev. 5:6). He appears in heaven in the state of a victim not because he still needs to suffer but because for all eternity he re-presents himself to God appealing to the work of the cross, interceding for us (Rom 8:34), and bringing the graces of Calvary to us.

The Mass is a participation in this one heavenly offering. The risen Christ becomes present on the altar and offers himself to God as a living sacrifice. Like the Mass, Christ words at the Last Supper are words of sacrifice, "This is my body . . . this is my blood . . . given up for you." So, the Mass is not repeating the murder of Jesus, but is taking part in what never ends: the offering of Christ to the Father for our sake (Heb 7:25, 9:24).It is precisely because the death of Christ was sufficient that the Mass is celebrated. It does not add to or take away from the work of Christ—it is the work of Christ.

4. When did Christians begin to say that the Lord’s supper was a sacrifice?

The Didache refers to the Eucharist as a thusia, the Greek term for sacrifice: "Assemble on the Lord’s day, and break bread and offer the Eucharist; but first make confession of your faults, so that your sacrifice may be a pure one. Anyone who has a difference with his fellow is not to take part with you until they have been reconciled, so as to avoid any profanation of your sacrifice [Matt. 5:23–24]. For this is the offering of which the Lord has said, ‘Everywhere and always bring me a sacrifice that is undefiled, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is the wonder of nations’ [Mal. 1:11, 14]" (Didache 14 [A.D. 70]).

Note the reference to the first chapter of Malachi. This was a prophecy that spoke of worshipers offering incense and a sacrifice on the Lord’s table everywhere to replace those in Jerusalem. Church Fathers emphasized this point, knowing that the Eucharist was the fulfillment of it.
A decade after the Didache was written, Clement of Rome wrote, "Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate those who blamelessly and holily have offered its sacrifices. Blessed are those presbyters who have already finished their course and who have obtained a fruitful and perfect release" (Letter to the Corinthians 44:4–5 [A.D. 80]).

TOPICS: Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: communion; eucharist; mass; transubstantiation
A note to everyone -- Hebrews 9 and 10 are validations of the Eucharist as Christ is NOT re-sacrificed again and again -- Christ's sacrifice HAPPENED, the action is finished, yet the blessings still remain.

The Eucharist is NOT a re-sacrifice but the self same sacrifice.
1 posted on 01/23/2011 2:42:35 AM PST by Cronos
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To: Cronos


Unfortunately, all too many people do not understand that God’s time is not our time and that what actually happens in heaven is an eternal “now”.

If they could grasp that fact, there would never be an issue. But they want to drag God down to their level rather than elevate their thinking towards God’s level (note I said “towards”, not “up to” — that was intentional)

2 posted on 01/23/2011 3:30:31 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley

Yes, God “exists” outside space and time.

3 posted on 01/23/2011 3:57:26 AM PST by Cronos (Bobby Jindal 2012)
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To: markomalley
Unfortunately, all too many people do not understand that God’s time is not our time and that what actually happens in heaven is an eternal “now”. If they could grasp that fact, there would never be an issue.

I disagree.

I have observed many here who I am convinced, "willing to justify himself" (Lk 10:29), intentionally reject this effacacious explaination.

4 posted on 01/23/2011 4:12:12 AM PST by papertyger (Progressives: excusing hate by accusing hate.)
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To: Cronos


Great post!

5 posted on 01/23/2011 8:37:24 AM PST by OpusatFR
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To: Cronos

**”Do this in memory of me.” **

Simple words. Simple meaning.

6 posted on 01/23/2011 11:29:30 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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