Mass : One Sacrifice Eternally Offered
Hebrews 9:26-28 tells us the Jesus was offered
once to take away our sins and Hebrews 10:18 tells us
“Where there is forgiveness of these, there
is no longer offering for sin.”
So why do Catholics call the Mass a Sacrifice which
they offer up each day of the week ?
The Mass is a Re-Presentation of that same One
Sacrifice of Jesus to the Father, His Life, Death, and Resurrection.
(His Resurrection is equally important. (Cf. Romans 4:25, 1
Corinthians 15:17) Jesus is the Eternal High Priest up in Heaven.
Paul tells us in Hebrews that in the Old Testament
the Jews had to continually offer up new sacrifices because these
sacrifices never really paid the full price of their sins. However, in
the New Covenant we only have One Sacrifice that is offered up once for
all time. We need no other offering than Jesus to the Father. He is
the One Sacrifice for all time. God being the creator of Time is
outside of time. The sacrifice is eternally present to him in Heaven,
see Revelations 5. In the Mass that
once for all time sacrifice
is made present to us as we are invited to unite ourselves in
Christ as we offer up ourselves to God the Father. That is why we have
an Altar,(Cf. Hebrews 3:10.)
Christ does not suffer again in the Mass. (Cf. 1
He only died once. That same One Sacrifice is made present to us in the
Jesus is our
Eternal High Priest.
“ … You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.”
And the definition
of a priest is to offer sacrifice.
“Every high priest is … to offer (to God) gifts and sacrifices
“ … Jesus (also) become the guarantee of an (even) better
covenant. Those priests were many because they were prevented by death
from remaining in office, but he, because he remains forever, has a
priesthood that does not pass away. Therefore, he is always able to
save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make
intercession for them.”
And so Jesus lives
forever to continually make intercession for us.
Notice that Hebrews
8 is talking about Jesus, our High Priest in Heaven.
“If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest ...”
And the preceding
verses tell us how Jesus fulfills his Priestly ministry.
“Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and
sacrifices; thus the necessity for this one also to have something to
Notice that this
passage says that Christ must “have (present
something to offer.” If Jesus’ offering was only a past event then it
would have been in the past tense.
However, it is present tense because Jesus’ sacrifice is once for all,
that is, once for all time, eternally offered in heaven.
The vision of
heavenly worship that John sees in Revelation chapter 4 goes on to say
in the next chapter …
“One of the elders said to me, ‘Do not weep. The lion of the
tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed, enabling him to open
the scroll with its seven seals.’ Then I saw standing in the midst of
the throne and the four living creatures and the elders, a Lamb that
seemed to have been slain.”
Jesus appears as
One who “seemed to have been slain” because He is eternally offered to
God the Father on our behalf.
There is a prophecy
in Malachi that tells about a pure offering that last continually.
“For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is
great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name,
and a pure offering”
Only Jesus is a
pure offering and it points to the New Covenant when we continually from
the rising of the sun to its setting all across the globe as we offer up
the One Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter tells us how we are to be
united in the holy priesthood, the holy sacrifice.
“ … let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy
priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus
1 Corinthians tells
about a very important feast
“Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of
dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has
been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast …”
If we did not have
a sacrifice to offer than we would have no altar which is for the
purpose of offering sacrifice. However, Corinthians tells us that we do
have an altar.
“ Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat
(what) belongs to the temple, and those who minister at the altar share
in the sacrificial offerings ?”
“We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have
no right to eat.”
And Paul makes it
clear what it is that we are to eat …
“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in
the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation
in the body of Christ?”
“This cup is the new covenant in my (Jesus’) blood. …
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord
unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. … For
anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks
judgment on himself.”
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice
and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and
he with me.”