Q. Scripture clearly says that “Christ was sacrificed once”. And yet the Catholic Church says their mass is a sacrifice. We know this is done over and over at their masses all over the world, every day. Thousands of sacrifices a day. Why do Catholics call the mass a sacrifice when this so obviously contradicts scripture?
A. Let me say that the mass in the Catholic Church certainly IS a sacrifice. That is why we call it the sacrifice of the mass. However, this sacrifice is completely unlike the sacrifices of the Old Testament because Jesus Christ is God. And God is ETERNAL. Therefore, Jesus’ ONE sacrifice is Eternal.
Yes, it happened once in time on planet earth. It was an historical event. However, this sacrifice sufficed for the forgiveness of sins for all of mankind both before the crucifixion and after it up to our own time and beyond. An ETERNAL SACRIFICE. Because the Lamb of sacrifice is the Eternal God of the universe He is able to offer an eternal sacrifice.
Hebrews 9:25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people;
Hebrews 10:11 Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Because Jesus offered Himself in an eternal sacrifice for sins He appears in Heaven to John as a Lamb that has been slain.
Revelation 5:6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
So, because His sacrifice is an eternal sacrifice, at our masses we are not killing Jesus over and over and over again every time we celebrate the mass. Absolutely not! What happens is in obedience to Christ we celebrate The Lord’s Supper partaking of the bread which has become His body and the cup which contains His blood. We are transported, in a spiritual sense to the foot of the cross and partake of that ONE SACRIFICE. So, the scrim of time is pulled back at the Catholic mass and we commune with Christ in Heaven. Because He is eternal, His sacrifice is eternal. It is we who are in time and must physically return, in time, to partake of that one eternal sacrifice. His one sacrifice is re-presented to us who are still in time. His sacrifice is not repeated.
Malachi 1:11 My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty.
This is seen as prophesying the unbloody (pure) sacrifice of the mass that is offered to God “from the rising to the setting of the sun” every day in our Catholic Churches.