If Mary was sinless, why couldn't she sacrifice herself for mankind

Jesus came to fulfil the law and then die and be resurrected, to save us from our sinfulness. Jesus came because no one could live up to the standards of the law. But the Church teaches that Mary was sinless. So why couldn’t she be the lamb? :blush:

She was not God…but that is not to say, she did not also suffer…she suffered with Jesus when she saw Him crucified at the cross.

Yeah, she wasn’t/isn’t God. But I always thought God’s problem with His people was that no one could live up to the agreed covenant. But Mary did, she was the only one except for God Himself. Did it have to be God who died for us? Why was that necessary? Was it because Mary was a woman?


We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

Yes she was preserved free from the stain of original sin, but she still had free will, no? She could have chosen to sin during her life on earth, though clearly she didn’t. She was a human not a robot.

Well, if what everything that is said about her life is accurate, she sure did a heck of lot of sacrificing herself…
She gave up ever having a regular family and normal husband-wife relationship and other children of her own…and then she spent the rest of her life in hiding and isolation, I think?
I assume she had to live in fear of the authorities and others as well, because of Jesus’ actions.
Even though she didn’t die in a torturous way like her son Jesus and others who were crucified in that era, she pretty much sacrificed her entire life.

Had she not done her part Jesus would not have been born.
So in a most direct way, she was sacrificed for sin as well, it seems.

Mary was a mere creature. She was granted to be without stain of original sin, like Eve before her. Other than that, she was so utterly small before the child she was bearing that she was indeed greatly surprised and most truthful when she said:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid;
for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed;
Because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
and Holy is His Name;

True, the singular privilege of the Immaculate Conception rendered her truly special, as did the fact that the Holy Spirit poured in her the fullness of His grace even before she had conceived her divine child. However, the child she bore was Christ the King, the living God Himself who had taken flesh.

It is said that Mary did participate in the sacrifice of Christ and mystically died on the cross with Him. However, no human sacrifice could ever repair or atone for what mankind had done.

Through obedience, Our Lady, the New Eve, regained for us what Eve had lost, and became a wonder in our eyes, for behold she is the mother of the new creation, the heavenly Jerusalem; however, if she is the mediatrix of all grace, it was because through Her the Son took flesh and became man and merited sanctifying grace for mankind, if she is the gate of heaven it is because through her came forth Christ, who opened heaven for mankind. And if salvation came through her, it is because of her the Son took flesh and Christ was born, He who is the only Savior, and under whose name alone is found salvation.

Our Lady is truly the greatest model a Christian can find, and this is the will of God. However, the sacrifice of atonement for our sins was that of Christ. And it’s a very profound topic, very profound. The Church Fathers wrote: God became man so that man may become God; He became like us so that we may become like Him. Christ truly gathered us all into Him, so that through his death and resurrection we would have eternal life and gain sanctifying grace through Baptism of water and spirit, a spiritual rebirth that unites us to Christ in such way that we can repeat with St. Paul: “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” As St. John the Evangelist writes, “he gave us the right to become children of God” - and thus, adds St. Augustine - truly partakers of the divine nature.

And in His death he defeated death, and by His resurrection he brought us all life - for we are not many, but one: one bread, one body, one Church, which is Christ’s body and of which Christ is Head. And by the Holy Orders and the Eucharist He perpetuated His sacrifice of atonement outside of time, for it is Christ Himself who offers His life and is offered in sacrifice…no man has this power, for He said:

No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded.

At every Holy Mass we are mystically on Calvary, on the Cross, all of us, the entirety of the Communion of Saints of Holy Church, and we all die on the Cross and Resurrect. Who can understand what this divine mystery truly is? Behold, like Moses we only see the reflection of His glory, for if we truly could see, then we would not live, but die at once out of sheer love and joy - this is the glory of the Beatific Vision of the state of heaven, to which only the Church Triumphant is admitted. And yet, in the Eucharist is found more than the sacrifice, for it is also the mystical union between Christ the Bridegroom and the Church, His Bride, as St. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:31-32

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a great sacrament, but I speak of Christ and of His Church.

Therefore, as you can see, this is the work of the Lord, not of any creature, not even of the most excellent amidst all the children of God.

True, we have become the sons and daughters of Mary, her offspring, but being incorporated into Christ, we have become one with Him, as members are one with the head of the body, or as the bridegroom and bride have become one.

It was not a messenger or an angel, but he himself who saved them. Because of his love and pity he redeemed them himself

I am, I am he that blot out your iniquities for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.

Ditto this. Mary cannot be sinless without the God-man’s sacrifice. That being said, God in His generosity permits us all to participate in Christ’s sacrifice, to be members of his body which he gave up on the cross.

My take on this is that God came and did it himself. (what an awesome God!) THis was his plan. If he didn’t come he would not have needed to create Mary Imaculate. I’m sure there was all sorts of ways for him to save us but this is how he did it.

Because Mary is not God, even though God created her sinless. She is the most perfect creature that He created and He obviously was delighted with her. God choose to go thru Mary to give us Jesus, when clearly, He did not have too.

beautifully written :wink:

It’s because only a divine person could satisfy the divine justice. Mary, as others have point out, would not have been necessary if God had not intended to be born as a human being–to take on human flesh. He did so to bridge the gap between the Divine God and human beings. No human being, no matter how holy, could satisfy the etenal justice of God. Since human beings are finite creatures (immortal not eternal) no ordinary human being, male or female could make reparation for the sins committed againt the eternal God. So God became man so that he could fulfill his own justice. I hope that helps.

It was only because of her son’s sacrifice that it was even possible for her to avoid sin. She is a recipient of the same grace we receive from him. It is not logical to surmise that a recipient of such grace could be a totally universal source of the same grace, since she had no power to give it to herself.

Her son, however, as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, had no need of grace from another source. In His divinity, He is the source of all grace.

why would Mary be the lamb?

The atonement of human sin could only be accomplished through a sacrifice that needed to be done once. That single sacrifice would satisfy the sins of the whole human race.
It has nothing to do with the fact that the Blesses Mother was sinless or a woman.
Remember in the garden God told Adam and Eve they would die if they ate from the forbidden tree?
When they did, He showed them mercy and the rest of the human race by not asking them both to surrender their life. (that would have been the end of that story) :rolleyes:
So a worthy human would need to be sacrificed to pay the price.
Whom would you choose?
God chose Himself. He stepped into our mortal bodies through the Blessed Mother and we know Him as Jesus.

So He has paid the price for our sins past present and future and gave us a chance to be rejoined to Him.
Hope this helps. :thumbsup:
God Bless!

Yes, indeed. Only a divine, eternal person could make a one time eternal and divine sacrifice. Mary couldn’t have done that. She was God’s handmaiden, not the means of redemption.

Our Lady was only sinless due to the fact that she was saved preemptively by the sacrifice of Christ.

The reason that Christ gave Himself was because due to the fact He is God, He is eternal, and so He could offer an eternal sacrifice which would transcend all time and atone for all sins.

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