The quick answer is, “No!”
Protestant anti-Catholics like to accuse the Church of killing Jesus over and over again in the Mass. This is due to their lack of knowledge about Old Testament practices. In this case, they don’t understand Old Testament “sacrifice”.
In most cases, Protestants pick up the Bible and read it in English. Even most of those who go to the underlying ancient language, will only go to the modern dictionaries and concordances to get a listing of possible meanings of the words. But, in the end, they always understand the word in the modern sense. Not the way in which the author of the Scripture intended the word to be used.
Folks, the authors of the New Testament Scriptures were all Catholic. They used the word in the Catholic sense. That is why Protestants don’t understand the New Testament. They reject Catholic Sacred Traditions which are the basis of the New Testament.
Anyway, back to the subject. For several years, I’ve been talking to Protestant anti-Catholics on the internet. One of the most common accusations that they make against the Catholic Church, is this idea that we kill Jesus over and over again every time we celebrate the Mass. They normally finish their argument by quoting the verse which says that Jesus’ Sacrifice is once for all. Here it is:
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
On the surface, it looks as though they have a point. We offer the Mass daily. And we must attend the Mass every Sunday. So, what happened to the ONCE part of this quote?
The easiest explanation, is, of course, from Sacred Tradition. The Church simply teaches us that the Mass is the consummation of the self same Sacrifice upon the Cross. But, Protestant anti-Catholics don’t accept Sacred Tradition. They refuse to believe the Church claiming that the Church contradicts and denies the Scripture. The thing is though, that New Testament Scripture is based upon pre-existing Tradition. Not the other way around.
Ok, so how do we respond to the objection?
To me, the most excellent response are these words from St. Paul’s Epistle:
1 Corinthians 5:7-8 King James Version (KJV)
….For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, ….
Let me explain.
Old Testament Sacrifice
In my opening statements, I said that anti-Catholic Protestants don’t understand Old Testament Sacrifice. The Sacrifice with which we are concerned here is the Passover. So, we’ll stick to that.
I’m going to assume that you all know the story of the first Passover. Remember when Moses led the Jews out of slavery in Egypt after God afflicted Pharaoh and the Egyptians with all those plagues? And the last plague when the Angel of Death PASSED OVER Jews and afflicted the first born of the Egyptians with the death of their first born? We’re on the same page, right? If not, read Exodus chapters 11 and 12. In the meantime, we’ll focus on two parts of the Passover Sacrifice:
The first is the selection, slaughter and offering to God, of a perfect lamb.
The second part is the consuming of that lamb, by God’s priestly people.
For some strange reason, Protestants consider the first part of the Passover, the sacrifice. That’s it. The end. But that’s not the case.
The Passover SACRIFICE did not end with the death of the lamb. But with the consuming of the lamb by the Priestly people, the Jews.
And THAT, in a nutshell, is the Protestant problem with understanding the ONCE FOR ALL Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They think it ends with the death of Jesus upon the Cross. But it doesn't. That is where Jesus' OFFERING ends. The Mass is the consuming of Jesus' OFFERING. The Mass is the second part of the Passover Sacrifice for the Christian people.
The Mass is the “once for all Sacrifice”
Haven’t you ever wondered why St. John calls Jesus the LAMB OF GOD? Jesus is the Lamb which is slaughtered, sacrificed and offered upon the Cross. Jesus is the Lamb which is consumed in the Mass.
Jesus was slaughtered and offered, once for all, upon the Cross. But He proclaimed that He would give us the Bread that is His Flesh, and the Wine that is His Blood, in the Holy Eucharist. This is how we consume the once for all Sacrifice which is the Mass.
Folks, Jesus Christ, our Passover is Sacrificed upon the Cross at Calvary. Therefore, let us keep the Feast in the Mass, by partaking of the Holy Eucharist, which is His Body and Blood.