Help!!! I am in the middle of a year-long discussion with a group of Presbyterians, including a very prominent, well versed pastor who has written many books, taught in a world renown seminary for Protestants, and been preaching throughout the world. We have been walking through Scripture together, and the Scriptures have come down heavily in favor of what the Church says - that through the Eucharist, we follow exactly what has been laid out since the beginning - that Christ IS our perfect sacrifice, and that to make the sacrifice complete, we must consume Him, just as He says in John 6. I have received very little resistance from any in this group…until this pastor brought up Hebrews 10. As a newer apologist, I was not properly prepared to discuss this, and in the moment had to resort to "I don’t know exactly what the Church has to say about that - I will find out and we can pick up this discussion next week (we have met every Wednesday for about a year, discussing Scriptural backing for the Eucharist going all the way back to Genesis and peeling back layer after layer of what each verse means - covering context and relating it back to what it means in light of Scripture as a whole, and to the Eucharist specifically). I have been blessed by this opportunity to evangelize to other Christians who are so close to coming home - but I do not want to ‘lose’ them because I don’t understand how to explain this passage in light of what the Church has always taught. I turn to you, my brothers and sisters - How can I explain this “stumbling block” verse in the proper way, and tear down the barriers - We are fast approaching the book of Revelation, where I know the mass, and the eternal sacrifice will be shown, but as this is the only verse where this pastor has pushed me back hard on, I would like to help remove all doubt. Long explanation for a short question - How to explain that Hebrews 10 does not eliminate ALL sacrifices, but only those of Mosaic law?
The answer is in Hebrews itself. Chapter 10:9b shows emphatically that the old sacrifices are replaced by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross: “He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” That’s what the Church teaches. We don’t offer many sacrifices. It is the one sacrifice of Jesus that we have access to through the Eucharist.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.