After being raised in Catholicism, I began to drift away from the church in my teen years, even though the high school I attended was Catholic. But after marriage and the birth of our two boys, I felt an obligation to raise our children in the church, so I began attending mass again. At the same time, I was reading the New Testament in my Catholic Bible, but I was having an increasingly difficult time reconciling Catholic doctrine with Scripture. Although it was many years ago, I do recall the Book of Hebrews being the final straw for me; especially the passages about the limitations of human priests, Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice for sin, and how Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. These truths did not square with Catholicism’s perpetual sacrifice of the mass in which priests allegedly sacrifice their wafer Jesus for sin 350,000 times daily on Catholic altars around the world. After much internal turmoil, I finally stopped attending mass and I eventually accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior by faith alone a couple of years later.
The Old Testament is filled with wonderful foreshadowings of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone. One of the most amazing is the account of Moses striking the rock in Exodus 17:1-7. God commanded Moses, who represents the Law, to strike the rock at Horeb so that it would bring forth water for the thirsty Israelites. When the Israelites complained again about no water at Meribah in Numbers 20:2-13, God commanded Moses to speak to the rock, but instead Moses struck the rock twice in anger because of the Israelites’ complaints. Because of his disobedience, Moses was not allowed to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. That job would go to a fellow by the name of Joshua (translated as Jesus in Greek).
The symbolism is extraordinary. Jesus Christ is the Rock of living waters (1 Cor. 10:4) and He died (was struck) once as a perfect sacrifice for sin because sinful man could not meet the requirements of the Law. God’s salvation flowed out to all men through Christ as a free gift that they receive by faith alone. Jesus cannot be sacrificed (struck) again. Everyone must repent of their sins and come to Christ in prayerful supplication (speaking) to Him and accept Him as Savior. Jesus exclaimed, “It is finished,” with His dying breath. There is no more sacrifice for sin. The sacerdotal priesthood was abolished. The Temple veil in Jerusalem was rent in two from top to bottom by the Lord at the moment of Christ’s death. Men now have direct access to the Father through the mediation of the resurrected Son. The Law (Moses) cannot bring people to salvation. It is Joshua/Jesus who leads all those who trust in Him to salvation!
Catholics insist they do not “repeat” Jesus’ sacrifice at Calvary with the mass, but claim to “re-present” the exact same sacrifice over and over. This is sophistry! Sacrifice for sin is done and Jesus now sits at the right hand of the Father, not on Catholic altars. But without sacrifice, there is no need for priests, so the fraudulent mass continues.
As I was driving to work yesterday morning, I was prayerfully mulling over what to write for the next post and the thought came to me that I should write something once again about how Moses’ striking of the rock in disobedience has similarities to the anti-Biblical perpetual sacrifice of the Catholic mass. While I was still driving, a pastor on the Christian radio station I was listening to started preaching on Numbers 20 and Moses striking the rock. Hmm, what a coincidence. When I got to work, I put on my headset and listened to a video that was recently posted by fellow WordPress Christian blogger, Hope. Of course, it also turned out to be a sermon on Numbers 20 and Moses striking the rock! See here. Wow! Some Catholic really needs to hear about Moses and the anti-Biblical mass today! Thanks, Hope!