The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was a true sacrifice. He offered Himself to His heavenly Father to expiate the sins of the world. As a Victim, He suffered first. Then He died, crying out, "It is consummated!" thus completing the sacrifice. On Calvary, Christ Himself was the High priest, and at the same time the Victim. This sacrifice reconciled God with man.
Since the Jewish sacrifices were only a foreshadowing of Our Lord's sacrifice, they ceased when His was offered, as foretold by the prophets.
Christ instituted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Last Supper. After praying, He blessed bread and wine, and changed them into His Body and Blood, saying to the Apostles: "Take and eat, this is my body…All of you drink of this, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is being shed for many unto the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26: 26,28). These words are known as the words of consecration at Mass, by which bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
The Mass is the sacrifice of the New Law in which Christ, through the ministry of the Priest, offers Himself to God in an unbloody manner under the appearances of bread and wine.
The sacrifices of old were far from perfect; sheep and goats were unworthy offerings to God in acknowledgment of His power and glory. Even in the time of the Old Law of the Jews, God had expressed His purpose to institute a new sacrifice.
In the words of His prophet Malachias, "From the rising of the sun even to the going down, My name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation" (Malachia. 1:10-11). These words referred to the Sacrifice of the Mass, in which the Victim is Jesus Christ the Son of God, than Whom there can be no worthier, no cleaner, no more perfect sacrifice.
The Church has always taught that the Mass is a true sacrifice. Saint Paul implies this when he says: "We have an altar from which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle (meaning the Jews)." (Hebrews 13:10)
The prophet Malachias foretold the universality of the sacrifice of the Mass. Since there are Catholics, priests and churches all over the world, this prophecy is today accomplished literally, for in all places where the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is said the "clean oblation", the Holy Mass, is offered.
The sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God alone. However, it may be offered to God in honor of the saints and angels, especially on their feasts.
Our Divine Savior said the first Mass, at the Last Supper, the night before He died.
At the Last Supper, Jesus Christ offered Himself up as a sacrifice to the Eternal Father, under the appearances of bread and wine.
"And while they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessing it, He broke and gave it to them, and said. 'Take ; this is My body.' And taking a cup and giving thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank of it; and He said to them. 'This is My blood of the new covenant, which is being shed for many'" (Mark 14:22-25).
You'll note that Our Lord said "for many" - pro multis, yet in the Novus Ordo it is translated "for all." This is wrong, very wrong and just one of many indicators that it is not the Sacrifice Christ asked for and which was performed up until Pope Paul VI promulgated the New Order of the Mass in 1969. Why is beyond any reason for the architect of this aberration was none other than Annibale Cardinal Bugnini, a known modernist, mason and admitted marxist who hated tradition. Is it any wonder then that the intention of the Novus Ordo was to diminish the sacrificial nature of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
The day after the establishment of the Sacrifice of His Body and Blood in the Blessed Sacrament at the Last Supper, Jesus consummated that Sacrifice by freely submitting Himself to His Passion and death by crucifixion at the hands of the Jews. The crucifix is a symbol that identifies Catholicism - always has and always will. Yet since Vatican II there has been a preponderance of resurexises in place of the crucifix or, even worse, the protestant concept of merely a cross. The crucifix is a reminder of sacrifice. Neo-Catholics do not want to be reminded of that and so they do not object when the crucifixes are removed, they did not object when the concept of "Eucharistic Celebration" was promoted over the traditional concept that was held for over 1,500 of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The two acts of the Last Supper, and that of the cross, were only two parts of the one supreme sacrifice that Our Lord offered to God the Father. After the first act, having offered Himself under the appearances of bread and wine, Christ turned to His Apostles and said: "Do this is remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19). By those words, He told them to do as He had done, offer in sacrifice to God His body and blood under the appearances of bread and wine; he commanded them in those words to say Mass, as the perfect sacrifice to God.
At the Last Supper Our Lord evidently meant to institute a visible sacrifice. He chose for the act the very time when the old sacrifice of the Paschal lamb was celebrated. The very words used by Christ in instituting the sacrifice of the Mass, the "new covenant" or "new testament", were almost identical with those used in the institution of the sacrifice of the Old Law. Today we need to return to the fulness of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass less we totally miss the meaning and purpose of why Christ offered the ultimate Sacrifice.