I have very recently been reading the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. The Book of Hebrews is a very important book in the Bible and favourably compares the Old Testament Faith to the New Testament faith. Hebrews teaches fundamental doctrine about Christ and its main theme is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and as mediator of God’s grace
One of the main problems with the Bible is that there have been many translations through the years of the original Greek and Hebrew texts and through such translations alot of the original and completely accurate meaning has been lost, therefore to really gain full understanding of some scriptures, not only as is it important to look at it in the context of the time it was written in, but also to examine the direct translations of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.
So…the central part of the mass is the Eucharist and what is the Eucharist?..Priests act as mediators of Christ, mediators of Christs forgiveness and mediators of his atonement and by changing the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ the Priest is acting as a mediator for Christs atonement. Priests are referred to (not always commonly known though) as “Alter Christus”, which means another Christ, and when the priest changes the bread and wine into the body and blood at each mass he is essentially applying Christs sacrifice time and time again to those in attendance. If we look to the book of Hebrews in the new testament we read much about Christs sacrifce and atonement for us and when I examined some of the orginal greek texts of this book we learn some clear things about Christs atonement: Here are some of the examples I have found.
Hebrews 7:27- “who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself.”
Hebrews 9:12- “nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption”.
Hebrews 10:0- “by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
In Hebrews as shown in these examples we see that Christs atonement happened “once for all”. The applications of the atonement however, are not “once for all” and we do know that Christ does intercede for us in heaven…but Christs atonement was something which according to scripture seems to have only needed to happen once…and nowhere in the New Testament is anyone-“Another Christ”, and if part taking in the Eucharist is not a “symbol” of the Sacrifice of the body and blood of Jesus Christ (which is common in other branches of Christianity)-the alternative is that what happens at each mass time and time again is the recreation of Christs sacrifice and atonement for us, but we know from scripture that this happened “once for all”, it is not necessary to recreate it.
So my question is… as Catholics, why at the mass is this recreation of Christs sacrifice happening each time we attend?