Does Transubstantiation Imply That Jesus’ Sacrifice Wasn’t Enough?


I am a Catholic in a mostly Protestant high school, and have done my best to defend the faith in many a debate during my time there. Today, however, I came across an idea that somewhat surprised me. It was essentially brought up to me as follows:

“According to the teaching of the Catholic Church, the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

Essentially, the partaking of the elements upon the alter are a redoing of Christ’s sacrifice… a reoccurrence if you will, implying that Christ’s death wasn’t completely finished. (He didn’t) have the doctrine on hand on how continual merited grace falls into Transubstantiation, but (he did) know that both key subtopics are in the Catechism.”

He then cited CCC 1477, 1374, and 1376.

As a disclaimer, I truly believe in transubstantiation, but this point interested me. I was wondering what your takes on it are?

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It is representing (i.e. making present) the once for all sacrifice, not “redoing” it.

Nope. Not accurate.


You may find the following video helpful on this topic.


The partaking of the elements upon the altar are a continuation of Christ’s sacrifice, not a redoing of it. Christ gave himself for us, for all people to accept. Each Eucharist offers the same grace to everyone, continuing the offer to us that Christ made on the Cross.


Jimmy Akin, whose video is posted above, has addressed this several times. Here’s another article by him on it.

And another:

My thoughts on this subject are that this is a tired old argument constantly trotted out by non-Catholics and already dispelled by lots of apologists.


It’s a living sacrifice as Jesus is alive, not dead.

We don’t recrucify Jesus at Mass, which some people believe.


As a high schooler, you may not be familiar with Scott Hahn’s The Fourth Cup. You can google it and find a text version, audio, etc. It’s about an hour and a little detailed for your particular question, but a thoroughly awesome explanation for what Jesus meant when he said upon the cross “It is finished.” Most Protestants haven’t got a clue… The Eucharist is the “finish” Jesus meant.


How awesome it is that we can enter into the Holy Sacrifice that took place originally, through the Mass!


No. It’s the way Christ gave us by which ALL generations can participate in His once-for-all complete sacrifice and partake of the Supper of the Lamb.
Jesus explicitly said, “unless you eat of the Son of Man and drink of His Blood, you have no life within you “. But how could anyone in any generation following His Resurrection partake in this?? By giving us the means to re-present His one sacrifice at the Holy Mass in a mystery, a sacrament, which we call Holy Communion.
Is it any wonder He said that THIS (the cup of His Blood and the Bread He professed to be His Body) is the new Covenant…Testamentum…literally the New Testament; Eucharist.


This is why we can’t teach ourselves. You have no idea when a small misunderstanding will lead you to grave error. The difference between “redoing” & “re-present” is small but leads the understanding to vastly different beliefs.

That said, I wasn’t properly catechized as a youth. On my way back to the Church the idea of sacrifice puzzled me so I dove into the OT to figure out where it came from, what it was about, & how did it translate in the new covenant.

I found God initiated the whole sacrifice thing.

It was about atonement.

In the new covenant we offer God’s only Son to Him in atonement for our sins (& those of the whole world).

I remember reading the exodus story & wondering why aren’t we having roasted lamb at Easter?

As I got through Chronicles & Kings I wondered how did God expect 8 billion people to go to Jerusalem for the Passover every year?

Then I read the last supper… & was like, ah! That’s how.

Actually after reading the Gospels a few times & paying attention at Mass one Easter.


No, the TRansubstantiation does not imply that the sacrifice is incomplete. Transubstantiation is the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus made before he asscended into Heaven when he said, "Lo, I will be with you until the end of the ages.
We celebrate the Holy Mass because Jesus said, “Do this in memory of me.” We do what Jesus said.


In OT sacrifice, to take part of the effects (forgiveness …) one must eat of what was sacrificed. For the sacrifice on Calvary, we must eat of the victim. At the mass, the victim is made present so that the salvation He offers may be recieved by us.

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