Sunday, February 28, 2016

HERE’S AN OFFER(ING) YOU CAN’T RE-USE



This is sort of an unintended follow-up to last month’s article on the Catholic Eucharist, which can be found here:


The Catholic Church makes much of the Eucharistic Mass by insisting that not only is the Eucharist an offering to God for the forgiveness of sins (CCC #1350, #1354, #1366, #1369), but when it is offered in the Mass, it is the very same sacrifice that Jesus offered on Calvary (CCC #1366, #1367).  But is it really a re-presenting of Calvary, as they claim?  Is the work of Jesus on the cross even something that mortal man is able to offer to God at all?  The answer to both of these questions is no.

Consider this analogy:

Let’s suppose you have committed a very serious crime and you are fined and you owe the court one million dollars.  And there is no way that you could possibly pay your fine in your lifetime.  But a rich and merciful stranger pays the debt in full.  Imagine your relief at the kindness of this stranger!  You are now free of your impossible debt!

But a little later, you decide that you want to go back to court and present, not the money, but the memory of the stranger’s payment, and you “offer” that memory to the court as payment.  And you insist that by doing this, you are actually “making that past event present,” in effect, paying the debt.  But the judge is not amused and says:

“But that paid-off debt is a past transaction that need never be brought up again.  And even if we could accept payment for a closed account, offering the mere memory of a past payment is absurd.  Furthermore, the million dollars that was offered in the past was never yours to offer.  Remember, you were unable to pay the debt.  It was the rich stranger’s offering, not yours.  To try and somehow now offer to the court, as payment, the mere memory of someone else’s past payment of your debt is a joke.”  The judge continues, “If you want to say thanks for my accepting your rich stranger’s offer, that’s fine.  But you can’t ‘offer’ anything for this closed account, much less the memory of it.  And furthermore, the memory of a past event does not magically “make it present.”  Again, attempting to offer the memory of an event as some kind of valid payment to the court is an insult to both the court and the rich stranger.”

And an insult it is.  Now, compare the spiritual application of the story above to what the Catholic Church claims for the Eucharist:

In much the same way, you have sinned against Almighty God and you have a debt of sin that you could never pay.  But a merciful and perfectly sinless Person (Jesus Christ) is willing to pay for your sins with His life, and He pays for it once and for all on the cross of Calvary (Hebrews 10:10-12, 14, 18).  It is a singular and very unique offering, “the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8).

But you (the Catholic or the priest) decide that you want to take the memory of His payment for sin and somehow “offer” it once again to the Father as a payment for your sin through the ritual of the Catholic Mass.  And the Father tells you, “But the payment for your sin is a past transaction and it cannot be ‘re-offered’ to Me (Hebrews 10:14).  It can never be your offering, since My Son is the One Who offered it (Hebrews 10:10, 12).  It is forever HIS offering, and no one else’s.  No priest, individual, or church can ever offer, present, or ‘RE-present’ it to Me.  It could only be offered by the Perfect God-man, and it was offered ONCE FOR ALL at Calvary (Hebrews 10:10-18).  Anyone else attempting to ‘offer’ what Jesus did is committing a vain and blasphemous mockery.”  The Father continues, “If you want to thank Me for accepting His perfect payment, that’s fine.  But no one can ever go back and re-offer what My Son did, lest it be a ridiculous pretense and an insult to both Me and My Son.”

So, once again, no one can “present Calvary” as an offering, no matter how well-intentioned the “offer” is.  The only way that MAN can offer Calvary is by sharing its truth with others, by spreading the gospel.  The Bible never suggests any other way for man to “offer” Jesus.  The work of offering a sacrifice for man’s sin has already been done perfectly by the one spotless Person, and as stated earlier, it was done by Him once for all (Hebrews 10:10-12, 14, 18).  Jesus said that it is finished (John 19:30), the penalty for sin is paid. 
 
The Catholic Church claims that Jesus is continually offering His sacrifice - through the priest - daily in the Eucharist.  But the Bible tells us that while every priest STANDS to present offerings (Hebrews 10:11), Jesus is now SEATED at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12) in Heaven, signifying that His work of redemption is finished!  He is not continually offering because He is finished offering.  There were no chairs in the Jewish temple or tabernacle, so no offering for sin was ever done sitting down.  The sin offering is finished, so there is no need whatsoever for Him to “RE-present” His offering to God.  By the way, using this term is just a word game that the Catholic Church plays to try to downplay the “once for all” aspect of His work, so they’ll say:  “No, we’re not offering Jesus again; we’re just ‘re-presenting’ His once-for-all offering.”   You can make up all the fancy terms you want, but “RE-presenting” is simply re-offering, no matter how you slice it.  And you can’t offer a sacrifice for sin that has already been offered, anyway.

If Jesus’ work on the cross ever needed to be offered again to God, for man’s sin, that would mean that it was ineffective the first time.  All “repeat” offerings or “RE-presented” offerings for sin are imperfect ones (Hebrews 10:1-2, 11).
  
Once again, Jesus’ work on the cross does not need to be re-offered or RE-presented.  It was perfect, final, and fully sufficient (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14).  But it will not, it cannot, ever be offered to God again for sin.  Not even by Jesus Christ.  Unless the inspired author of Hebrews lied when he said:

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:10)

But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:12)

For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:18)

The offering of the Eucharist and the event of Calvary are NOT one and the same.  It is blasphemous to equate ANY human work, ritual, or accomplishments with Calvary.  Jesus’ offering of Himself on the cross is a priceless one-time offering – it cannot be “RE-offered,” “RE-presented,” or “RE-used” as an offering to God.  It is not ours to offer.


3 comments:

  1. Hi Russell,

    A good argument (I believe) that can be used against the Catholic Eucharist is that God does not dwell in places made with hands (Acts 7:48-49; Acts 17:24-25). If God does not dwell in places such as tabernacles or synagogues (places where sacrifices are made), then the Eucharist is just an ordinary peace of bread and the priests do not have the power to pull the Lord from heaven into the consecrated elements. In the same context of Acts chapter seventeen, we also see the Apostle Paul telling converts not to think of God as being a material object (Acts 17:29).

    "For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:24-28)

    Jesse

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  2. Hello Russell,

    Good to hear from ya!

    In Scripture, a genuine example of transubstantiation occurred when Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana (John 2:1-10). However, notice that the water no longer tasted like water. It tasted like high-quality wine (John 2:9-10). Thus, the Roman practice of the Eucharist at the mass is refuted because the consecrated elements do not taste like raw human flesh and blood. It is also important to note that Scripture NEVER mentions "miracles" that take place without physical evidence. This is so because the purpose of miracles back in apostolic times was to convince people that Jesus was indeed the Christ so that they could have eternal life in His name (John 20:30-31).

    More relevant texts that give clear evidence for the symbolic view of the Lord's Supper would include John 16:25-30 and 1 Corinthians 10:3-4.

    "They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ". 1 Corinthians 10:3-4
    "Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father. Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God." John 16:25-30

    I would like to bring up one more point that I feel needs consideration. When pondering the concept of Catholic transubstantiation, I think of Matthew 24:23-26. This passage of Scripture talks about the coming of many false "Christs". The true Messiah concluded His statements by saying, "Do not believe them". Read it for yourself!

    Thanks,
    Jesse

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