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Why do some people believe that the priesthood ended with the death of Christ and the tearing of the veil in the sanctuary?


There is not one verse in Scripture that the priesthood as we know it, will be continued after Christ has rent the veil of the temple!          This is a comment of one person to one of my a previous articles about the Mass. He didn’t believe there was a New Testament priesthood. He believed the priesthood ended after the veil in the temple was torn in two.  He doesn’t seem to realize, the tearing of the veil, in Mark 15, did not mark the end of the priesthood; it marked the end of Jesus life. “Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom (Mk 15:37-38). As you can see this was at the death of Jesus, not the death of the priesthood. 

He has quoted a verse and then substituted something from his tradition that is not in the context or in the Bible. How can Jesus death on the cross be the death of the priesthood, when the Bible clearly says that we have a priesthood that doesn't pass away?

But he, because he remains forever, have a priesthood that does not pass away (Heb 7:24). 

Here is another person who objected to the Mass because we have priests offering it. “That is the catholic doctrine. Which is why I am glad I left the catholic church. This doctrine is severely un biblical and heretical. Gods word say …There is no need for a priest to make sacrifice over and over again.” In almost all objections against the Mass and priesthood there is usually at least a partial truth, followed by a distortion. When he says there is no need for a priest to make sacrifices over and over again; he is correct and in fact, he is quoting the Bible in the book of Hebrews;  

Every priest stands daily at his ministry offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins (Heb 10:11).  

What this person would like us to believe is that the priest spoken of here is the Catholic priest and the sacrifices that can never take away sins are the sacrifice of the Catholic Mass where we offer Jesus. And so here are the main questions. Are these "same sacrifices." that can never take away sin, the same sacrifical offering of Jesus in the Mass? And is the Priesthood in Hebrews 10:11 the New Covenant priesthood? 

The sacrifices being offered are animal sacrifices: The offering is either Old Covenant animal sacrifices or New Covenant sacrifice of Jesus. In every instance that I have come across in the past 20 years or so, where Hebrews 10:11 is used against the Mass, the detractors of the Catholic Church do not say what the same sacrifices are that never take away sins. They leave out any mention of the fact that the same sacrifices that cannot take away sins are animal sacrifices!

“Every [Levitical, Heb 7:11] priest stands daily at his ministry offering frequently those same sacrifices [blood of bulls and goats, Heb 10:4] that can never take away sins" (Heb. 10:11).  

The only way that a Catholic priest could be in violation of Hebrews 10:11 would be if he offered animal sacrifice.  But of course he doesn’t; he offers Jesus in every Mass. Is there any way that the Mass would be in violation of Hebrews 10:11?  Yes, in theory there is. One day you walk into Mass and the priest says we are going to offer the sacrifices of animals on the altar rather than Jesus. This would be in violation of Hebrews 10:11.

I believe in many if not most cases the person taking Hebrews out of context is simply not aware that he is quoting out of context. He is quoting from a tradition that doesn't bring up the fact that the sacrifices that do not take away sin are animal sacrifices.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church? The memorial of the Lord's passion and Ressurection. The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Savior and includes the Church's offering. The terms 'holy sacrifice of the Mass, "sacrifice of praise," spiritual sacrifice, surpasses all sacrifices of the Old Covenant... 1330.

For example at every Mass we offer Jesus; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity,  because Scripture tells us too (1 Corinthians 11:25-26). And we believe this is the "same sacrifice" as Jesus on Calvary only in an unbloody manner. 

Here is another of his comments, He believes that the Mass and the priesthood are wrong because to him it suggests in some way that “Christ's atonement was insufficient and is still going through a process of completion.” To back up his thesis, he quotes Christ, just before he died on the cross; “it is finished.” He doesn’t connect the dots.  He doesn’t tell us why receiving Jesus, in the Last Supper (Mass), takes away from Christ’s one time sacrifice on the cross. He just makes the statement.    

The Bible does not claim an end to the priesthood, but a change in the priesthood. Paul tells us in Hebrews about this change of priesthood;   

"For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well" (Heb 7:12).  

These same people, who claim the "Bible Alone," are seemingly unaware of the fact that they are believing something that is not only, not in the Bible, but even contrary to the Bible. Since there is not an end of the priesthood but a change in priesthood in the Bible, this begs the question; where do they get this contrary notion that there is no New Testament priesthood. They are getting it from their tradition which is in violation of their own Bible Alone doctrine.  

This type of  presentation is used against the Catholic Church to get people out of the Church.  Some Protestants see this intellectual corruption and are lead to the very Catholic Church they were taught to hate. I was listening to an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church and his conversion began while attending a Protestant seminary.  One of the professors giving a talk on the priesthood said that there is no New Testament priesthood and then later, in the same talk, said that we are all priests. 

He realised the obvious contradiction; how can there be no priesthood if in fact we are all priests?

Why would Jesus stop the reenactment of the last supper when he presented it, at the last meeting of His Apostles, before His capture?  In fact the reenactment of the Last Supper according to the Bible is done often.  “In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1 Cor 11:25-26). And so I can believe someone who tells us the Last Supper (Mass) is not Biblical, or I can believe our Bible which asks us to offer it often, weekly (Acts 2:42-46) and even daily (Acts 20:7)!   

The difference between the Old Covenant priesthood and the New Covenant priesthood is in the offering. In the Old Covenant the priest offers animal sacrifices and in the New Covenant the High Priest (Jesus) offers Himself.