From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Mass
In fact, there has been only one propitiatory sacrifice in the world, namely, the death of Christ, as the Epistle to the Hebrews teaches. “For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins” (Heb 10:4). A little later, it speaks of the will of Christ. “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10).
Pulling It Together: Although there were symbolic types of atoning sacrifice in the Old Testament, true, propitiatory sacrifice was only accomplished by Jesus Christ. This was what he came to earth to accomplish. “Behold, I have come to do your will” (Heb 10:9). Because this justification of sinners with God could not be accomplished through the sacrifice of animals—even the thousands that Solomon offered (1 Kings 3:4; 2 Chr 7:5)—the perfect Son of God came to fulfill his Father’s will (Matt 5:17). The temporary satisfactions of animal sacrifice were finished in the perfect, complete work of God’s Lamb. His atoning sacrifice on the cross fulfilled the Law and makes God just to forgive us all our sins.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for putting me in a righted relationship with your Father. Amen.
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