Continued from this post.
Let me begin by first clarifying the belief that I spoke out against. Catholic doctrine holds that "Christ gives us His own body and blood in the holy Eucharist first, to be offered as a sacrifice commemorating and renewing for all time the sacrifice of the cross" (Catechism 356). This view of the Lord’s Supper, from the Catholic standpoint, is literally the re-sacrificing of Christ. And, while the Catholic catechisms quote Scriptures that speak of Christ dying once at the cross, this doctrine also teaches that Catholic priests perform at each Mass a miracle that transforms the bread and wine into Christ's physical body and blood (transubstantiation) and that each Mass “is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross” (Catechism 359). Jesus is then – quite literally according this doctrine – sacrificed anew each time a Mass is held and the Lord's Supper is taken.
In contrast to this, however, the New Testament teaches that Christ’s death on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins was both final and complete for all time. Consider Hebrews 9, which deals with the passing away of first (old) covenant regulations in light of the new covenant in Jesus. Hebrews 9:25-28 says “…Nor was it to offer Himself repeatedly… for then He would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, He appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself… so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many…” Consider too the even more explicit statements of Hebrews 10:10 – “…We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” Hebrews 10:12 – “…But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time…” and of Hebrews 10:14 – “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” Consider as well Christ’s own words before He died on the cross – “It is finished” (John 19:30). The phrase in Greek is teleho – which is to bring to a close, to complete, to fulfill, to accomplish the final part of one’s task.
To assert then that there is a continuation of Christ’s sacrifice, as the Roman Catholic doctrine asserts in their view of the Eucharist, not only contradicts New Testament teaching, but destroys the assurance we have that payment for our sin has been fully paid – once and for all – by Christ and wholly accepted by God the Father. If continual sacrifice for our sins still must be made by Christ, we have no assurance of there being “no condemnation” toward us (Romans 8:1). New Testament doctrine is clear that after the one offering of Christ on the cross, there is no more need of continual or further sacrifice.
Continued next post...