Thursday, November 02, 2006

The "Once for All" Sacrifice of Christ

Recently, there was a short discussion in the Holy Culture Radio forum about the Sacrifice of the Mass. "HCR" asked a question (his words will be in bold) and then "BlackCalvinist" followed it up with a rebuttal of the Mass (his words will be italicized). Here is my response to both of them.
- - -
Does Christ "still" shed his blood for sins?
No. The Sacrifice of the Mass is not bloody. Also, when we partake of the Blood of Christ, this is not Blood separated (or "shed") from his Body. Like I said in the questions thread: "Where His Blood is, there is also His entire self, since He exists whole and entire in heaven and since the sacrifice of the Mass is not a bloody one, in which Jesus loses blood, or has it separated from Him. So, the wine is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ."
Or did he shed his blood "once and for all" on the cross?
Yes, He did. It is not a contrary statement to uphold both the Sacrifice of the Mass and the "once for all" sacrifice on the Cross.
Here is where I'm going...

If as a Catholic, when taking communion, the wine turns into Christs blood, does that not contradict Christ saying "it is finished"? If communion is not just a representation of Christ blood, but "actually" Christs blood, would it not be safe to say that Catholics continually put him back on the cross where his blood was shed?

Help me out.
It would not be safe to say that. Like I said, His blood is not being shed again. When we partake of the Eucharist, we receive His entire self, which includes His Blood. When he mounted the Cross, he gave his entire self to the world so as to achieve the objective redemption. In other words, in giving of his entire self, he made it possible for man to enter heaven. But, the merits of this total self-giving must be applied to us somehow if we are to benefit from it. This is the subjective redemption. Every day man is in need of it, so Jesus never ceases to give to the Father his one gift on the Cross. This gift is made real in our lives through the Mass, when celebrate the gift of his entire self (to the Father, and consequently to us) in the Eucharist. I hope that makes sense.
Of course, Hebrews 10:10-13 disagree with it being a 'sacrifice' at all (the Mass) as the ONE offering was given and done ONCE.
Heb 10 refutes the mass? Lets take a look at this passage:

Heb 10:10-13 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet.

This passage says exactly what I said in my last post. The objective redemption took place once for all (vs. 10). But, the writer says that this "single sacrifice" is not only for all people, but "for all time" (vs. 12). This single sacrifice must be made present for all people and in every age. "For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts" (Mal 1:11). The Mass is what achieves this, the subjective redemption.

Also, look at the 3 verses prior to the passage in question:

Heb 10:7-10 Then I said, 'Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,' as it is written of me in the roll of the book." 8 When he said above, "Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he added, "Lo, I have come to do thy will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all

He abolished the old sacrifices so as to set up the very sacrifice that we celebrate in the Mass. It is in the Mass that we are "sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (vs. 10).

Some people use vs. 11 as a mark against the Sacrifice of the Mass, but this verse is in reference to the sacrifices of the Old Law that he abolished. The blood of lambs will no longer do. Now we partake of the Blood of the Lamb (1 Pet 1:18-19; Rev 7:14; 12:11). His Blood is the new covenant (Lk 22:20; Heb 12:24). Just as the levitical high priest offered sacrifice to the Lord and then the people ate the sacrifice (to participate in the Old Covenant), in the Mass the priest stands in the person of Christ offering His one sacrifice to the Lord and then we eat the sacrifice (to participate in the New Covenant).

In the Mass we celebrate a covenant with "much more splendor" (2 Cor 3:10-11). In the Mass we "have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (Heb 12:22-24). The letter to the Hebrews only affirms this gathering of the entire people of God at the marriage supper of the lamb (Rev 19:9)

Pax Christi,


  1. You...are amazing.

    Marry me?

  2. A reading from the letter to the Hebrews was read tonight at Mass. I thought of th is post, though I have not yet read it. I really enjoyed the reading.

  3. marrying mood for phatty?

    awesome post nick. I will use it in my class


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