Is the Mass a Sacrifice?

by Steve Ray on March 11, 2012

St. Paul mentions three sacrifices in 1 Corinthians 10:15-21 (see below). He compares the Sacrifice at the Mass with the sacrifice of the Jews and of the pagans. He even uses the phrase “table of the Lord” which is a technical term for an altar of sacrifice in the Old Testament (Malachi 1:7, 12). The Fathers of the Church all referred to Malachi 1:11 as an Old Testament prophecy of the future Eucharist which we now celebrate. 

Malachi says of the defiled Jewish sacrifice, “By offering polluted food upon my altar. And you say, ‘How have we polluted it?’ By thinking that the Lord’s table may be despised” (1:7). Then, referring to new upcoming sacrifice among the Gentiles, “For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense is offered to my name, and a pure offering; for my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts (1:11).

Chart Showing Paul's Use of "Sacrifice" in 1 Cor 10

1 Corinthians 10:15–21

“I speak as to sensible men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

“Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

Three different religions (pagan, Jew and Christian);
Three different participations (pagan altar, Jewish altar, Christian altar – Table of the Lord);
Three results (participation in the altar for Jews who eat the sacrificed meat, participation in demons for the pagans, and participation in the Body and Blood of Christ with Christians).

"This is My Body ... this is My Blood"

The Didache, written contemporaneously with the books of the New Testament in the 1st century says, “On the Lord’s own day gather together and break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who has a quarrel with a companion join you until they have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be defiled. For this is the sacrifice concerning which the Lord said, “In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is marvelous among the nations (Mal 1:11).”

Clement of Rome (96 AD): “Our sin will not be small if we eject from the episcopate [bishop or group of presiding bishops] those who blamelessly and holily have offered its Sacrifices.”

Ignatius (martyred 107 AD) “Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with His Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice?even as also there is but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow-servitors the deacons. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

De Maria March 27, 2012 at 1:18 PM

I like to mention that the Mass the Christian Passover:

1 Corinthians 5:7
King James Version (KJV)
7Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

St. Paul obviously ties in the Sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, to the Jewish Passover. A Sacrifice in which the Jewish people participated by eating the Passover Lamb.

That is why it was necessary for Christ, the Lamb of God:
John 1:29
King James Version (KJV)
29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

to give us the bread which is His Flesh:
John 6:51
King James Version (KJV)
51I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

So that eating of it, we might obtain eternal life:
1 Corinthians 11:25-29
King James Version (KJV)
25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

27Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

John 6:54
King James Version (KJV)
54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Sincerely,

De Maria

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