Help with defending the perpetuation of X's sacrifice


#1

Please help me! I have recently happened to get myself into a debate about Catholicism with the leader of an evangelical youth group I’m involved in. He has enumerated the reasons he has rejected Catholicism, and I’m trying to defend it. (Where I’m coming from: I’m currently an evangelical Protestant, but I recently started studying the RCC and decided I want to “go home”; I’m now doing RCIA, since I was never baptised as a Prot).

It is a very wide-ranging debate, but I can address much of it. Specifically, I need help on one issue, where I am pretty lost:

He says that the doctrine of “perpetuating the sacrifice” at Mass is blasphemous. He cites verses such as:

Heb 9:24-27
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a {mere} copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.
26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this {comes} judgment,
(NAU)

Since he rejects perpetuating the sacrifice, he rejects transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass, and therefore the new priesthood. The hinge argument is over “perpetuating the sacrifice”, but I don’t know how to respond to the verses he cited and build an argument for the eternality of Christ’s sacrifice.


#2

Just tell him this. If the sacrifice of Christ was not perpetual, then how could your sins continue to be forgiven today, 1900 yrs later, since Christ died in 33 A.D? The death of Christ is historical but the blessings of his sacrifice are eternal.

                       For example, when we receive Christ in the Eucharist we receive the same flesh and blood of Christ that existed on the cross. We also receive his forgiveness and eternal life as well. Because Christ himself gave us a eternal sacrifice with eternal blessings.

#3

[quote=atratus]Please help me! I have recently happened to get myself into a debate about Catholicism with the leader of an evangelical youth group I’m involved in. He has enumerated the reasons he has rejected Catholicism, and I’m trying to defend it. (Where I’m coming from: I’m currently an evangelical Protestant, but I recently started studying the RCC and decided I want to “go home”; I’m now doing RCIA, since I was never baptised as a Prot).

It is a very wide-ranging debate, but I can address much of it. Specifically, I need help on one issue, where I am pretty lost:

He says that the doctrine of “perpetuating the sacrifice” at Mass is blasphemous. He cites verses such as:

Heb 9:24-27
24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a {mere} copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own.
26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this {comes} judgment,
(NAU)

Since he rejects perpetuating the sacrifice, he rejects transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass, and therefore the new priesthood. The hinge argument is over “perpetuating the sacrifice”, but I don’t know how to respond to the verses he cited and build an argument for the eternality of Christ’s sacrifice.
[/quote]

The truth is that there was one sacrifice of Christ. Christ ofered himself once, but we recieve him often. The Catholic Church teaches that the mass is a re-presentation of the same sacrifice that occured on Calvary hill. It is not a new sacrifice each week.

The meaning of the mass goes back to the Jewish tradition. They offered sacrifices repeatedly that God would forgive there sins. In Christianity(Catholicism) there is only one sacrifice, that of Christ on the cross. It occured once in history, but it is a perpetual sacrifice that occurs through out all time. Revelation depicts Christ as the lamb that has been slain. In revelation chapter 5 it says this

6 And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain,

As you can see it speaks of the lamb standing as it were slain. This is after the resurrection, yet the lamb still stands as if he were slain. The sacrifice is a perpetual one that is still ocurring.


#4

It seems to me that since Christ is eternal, his sacrifice is perpetual. As gladtobe has noted, this is why we can still receive the graces merited by that sacrifice 2,000 years after the fact. Many protestants talk about repentance as “coming to the foot of the cross,” despite the fact that Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore. How does that work? Do we put him back on the cross every time that we repent? Revelation speaks of Christ as a “Lamb that looked like it had been killed” and “standing as if it had been slain” (quoting from memory). This doesn’t mean that Christ is still suffering, or still dead, and we don’t “re-sacrifice” Jesus during the Mass. The Mass is a renewal of the covenant in the blood of Christ; it is a participation in the eternal sacrifice of Christ; it is the way in which we celebrate our eternal Passover. Just as the Jews were to eat the Passover lamb to remember and renew their covenant with God, so we, too, are to eat the flesh of our Passover Lamb and drink His blood to renew our covenant with God and to ensure that we have life within us.


#5

Just to clarify - Jimmy and I said some of the same things, but we apparently posted at the same time. Great minds think alike? :smiley:


#6

You might also want to ask him whether he believes Jesus is the Eternal High Priest (he’ll say yes).

Then ask him how can he be an eternal High Priest without an eternal (perpetual) sacrifice? (that’s what a priest does. If Jesus’ sacrifice were not perpetiual, he would have retired from his High Priesthood at the Resurrection. Don’t tell that yet though).

Ask him also why there is (present tense) an altar in heaven (Rev. 6:9).

And why do we still have (present tense) an altar (whatever that means for him) (Heb 13:10)?


#7

[quote=Absalom!]Just to clarify - Jimmy and I said some of the same things, but we apparently posted at the same time. Great minds think alike? :smiley:
[/quote]

Yes, I agree.:smiley:


#8

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