Monday, August 03, 2009

Why Say Mass Sacrifices Christ Again?

Luka asked:
If You truly understand how both biblical statements: that Christ died once for sins, and that -at the same time- He was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, are simultaneously correct, then why do You persist in Your conviction that Mass or Liturgy sacrifice Christ "again"? :-|
I answer:

a) As I pointed out at this link, the term "from the foundation of the world" is best understood as modifying "written" not "slain."

b) As also pointed out there, if the term were to be referred to "slain" we would simply understand that as being a figurative expression as to the intent and purpose of the lamb from all eternity, namely to be slain.

c) One of our complaints about the Roman masses is that they don't claim to represent the sacrifice of Christ, but actually to involve the sacrificing of Christ. The Lord's Supper does illustrate for us the death of Christ: it is the true icon of his body and blood, which was shed for many for the remission of sins. The historical event of the cross, however, is complete. It is finished. It cannot be repeated or continued.



Alex said...

Is that 'event' no being forever presented before the Father?

Turretinfan said...

Christ is making intercession for his people. He does so on the basis of his completed work. If that's what you mean, then yes. If you mean that the event itself is continuing: no.


2EZ said...

I think you have the wrong link there.

Turretinfan said...

Esmay: Yes, thanks. Fixed now.

John said...

"actually to involve the sacrificing of Christ"

Doesn't "getting saved" involve the sacrificing of Christ?

Turretinfan said...

No, John. Of course it does not. It involves trusting in the finished work of Christ.

John said...

"No, John. Of course it does not. It involves trusting in the finished work of Christ."

I thought the sacrificing of Christ WAS his finished work. What do you think his finished work is?

Turretinfan said...


Christ's once-for-all sacrifice is finished and completed. It's done. In Jesus' words: "it is finished." It's not happening again when a minister thanks God for the bread and cup, it's not continuing to happen then either. It was accomplished on Calvary about 1970 years ago. I'm not sure why this is such a hard concept to grasp.


John said...

After the passover lamb is killed, the instructions to the people of God in the old covenant is to eat the lamb the next day. The eating of the lamb is not the same as the killing of the lamb, but it is part of the passover sacrifice. Eating the lamb is not killing the lamb again. It is a different phase in the procedure. It doesn't mean the lamb is somehow re-slaughtered, or even "continuing to be" slaughtered. But it does make the sacrifice present in the lives of the people the next day in a very real way. There is more to the sacrifice than just the killing part.

Anonymous said...


I think it is easy to grasp why it is hard to grasp!

But that's another story, "a world full of devils" who are causing man without Christ and His sacraments and the baptisms to make doctrines of demons shunning the Doctrines of the Faith by so teaching them!

The ease is with the Holy Ghost when grasping the Truth.

The difficulty is without the Holy Ghost when not and making offers to the Truth that simply are not the Truth!

Turretinfan said...

a) No, they were required to eat the lamb the same day, and were not permitted to let any remain until the next morning (Exodus 34:25).

b) The feast of the sacrifice was certainly part of the overall ritual involved, but it was not part of the sacrifice. The sacrifice is the killing and offering of the blood to God. Note:

Deuteronomy 16:5-7

Thou mayest not sacrifice the passover within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee: but at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the passover at even, at the going down of the sun, at the season that thou camest forth out of Egypt. And thou shalt roast and eat it in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents.

c) The eating of the lamb was a sacrament (it pictured a spiritual reality with a physical act) and reminder of the lamb's death (eating living animals was forbidden) - it has been replaced by the Lord's Supper, which reminds us of Christ's death (especially in that the blood is separated from the body, something that happened at the Lord's death and which is connected with death, in that living people have blood throughout their body).

d) The sacrifice was already present to the participant who had to have the lamb sacrificed that same day. So, no, that's not the reason for the consumption of the Lamb.

e) Each Roman mass does not purport merely to be a feast, but also to be the sacrifice of Christ: "Because it is the memorial of Christ's Passover, the Eucharist is also a sacrifice. " CCC 1365 and "The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice:" CCC 1367. Of course, these are the contemporary teachings, not the historical teachings, of Rome.


John said...

(a) You are wrong, they had to eat it after night fall, and that is the next day in Jewish time.

(b) Ex 34:25 "nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning."

The eating part is called the "sacrifice of the feast". Now you can interpret this any way you like, but scripturally it is called a sacrifice.

(c) Yes it is replaced by the Lord's supper. The point is that if eating the lamb can be called the "sacrifice of the feast", then logically, the Lord's supper can be called thus too.

(d) Of course whether the sacrifice is "present" is the big argument, isn't it.

(e) The Lamb eaten the next day was the "same sacrifice" too. That doesn't imply that the lamb's death is reoccurring.

Turretinfan said...


a) No, the same day.

The lamb was killed in the evening.

Exodus 12:6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.

Jewish days were generally reckoned as evening and morning (see Genesis 1). And, as noted before, in any event, nothing was to remain until the morning (so whether the evening is considered part of the same day with the following or preceding morning, it was eaten the same day it was killed).

b) No, the eating part is not called "sacrifice of the feast." The "sacrifice" is being used to identify the victim of the sacrifice through metonymy.

c) Your argument here is premised on your error at (b).

d) If whether it is "present" is the big argument, it is interesting to note that you weren't actually able to find any description like that in Scripture. I know that may not trouble a follower of a religion that is not Scriptural, but it poses a problem for someone like me who follows the traditions of the apostles and not mere human traditions.

e) Your argument here is premised on your errors at (a) and (b), and further worsens your case in that your quotation marks are not quoting Scripture.

Now, I think you've pretty much given us your arguments, and I've given the rebuttals. If you have something new to add, please feel free, but I'm not going to extend this to endless rounds of negation and affirmation of points already raised.

Anonymous said...


for what it is worth, I like you response.

It is interesting to note from God's perspective just when "light" came into being and when the "lights", the greater, the sun and the lesser, the moon, came into being.

Based on that count, the "evening and the morning" are the first, second, third, forth day and so on til today, the rising of the sun is in the middle of the day and it's going down is at the end of the day.

When you discipline yourself to the plain meaning of the Word of God and not try to bend it to your own interests, self supporting, no doubt, you miss the error of your ways and finally, at the end of the day you enter "Light" out of darkness!

Again, that was scholarly in response!

Jennie said...

Something occurred to me while studying about the mass recently. First, the Roman Catholic Church claims that the mass is an actual sacrifice for sin, if I am not mistaken. Secondly, they call it an unbloody sacrifice. Biblically, Christ is sacrificed once for all, as has already been said here; and secondly, the Bible says that 'without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.' This seems to me to reveal Roman Catholicism as a system that is ingeniously designed to avoid giving an actual means of salvation as it is taught in the gospel of scripture. The eucharist is a sacrifice without blood and so is useless. It only distracts its followers from the true sacrifice.

Turretinfan said...

It gets even worse than that. Their terminology "unbloody" is borrowed from an earlier era of church history. That era recognized that there was no actual blood involved in the Lord's Supper. But now, due to the error of transubstantiation, Rome teaches that there is blood in the Lord's supper.

The symbols of bread and the cup memorialize and represent the body and blood of Christ, they represent the sacrifice that was made with blood, but they themselves lack blood, because that blood was spilt on the cross of calvary.

The Roman position makes mockery and confusion of the matter: calling their sacrifice of what is (in fact) not blood a "sacrifice" even while calling what they claim to be blood "unbloody."