Church FathersThe sacrifices of animal victims which were imposed on our forefathers by the Holy Trinity itself, the one God of the Old and New Testaments, foreshadowed the most acceptable gift of all.

This was the offering which in his compassion the only Son of God would make of himself in his human nature for our sake.

The Apostle teaches that Christ offered himself for us to God as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.

He is the true God and the true High Priest who for our sake entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, taking with him not the blood of bulls and goats but his own blood.

This was foreshadowed by the High Priest of old when each year he took blood and entered the Holy of Holies.

Christ is therefore the one who in himself alone embodied all that he knew to be necessary to achieve our redemption.

He is at once priest and sacrifice, God and temple.

He is the priest through whom we have been reconciled, the sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the temple in which we have been reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled.

He alone is priest, sacrifice, and temple because he is all these things as God in the form of a servant.

But he is not alone as God, for he shares the divine nature with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Hold fast to this and never doubt it: the only-begotten Son, God the Word, becoming man offered himself for us to God as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.

[…] In those ancient victims the body and blood of Christ were prefigured: the body which the sinless one would offer as propi­tiation for our sins, and the blood which he would pour out for our forgiveness.

The Church’s sacrifice, on the other hand, is an act of thanksgiving and a memorial of the body Christ has offered for us and the blood he has shed for us.

[…] Those sacrifices of old pointed in sign to what was to be given to us. In this sacrifice we see plainly what has already been given to us.

Those sacrifices foretold the death of the Son of God for sinners. Here he is proclaimed as already slain for sinners, as the Apostle testifies:

Christ died for the wicked at a time when we were still powerless, and when we were enemies we were reconciled with God through the death of his Son.

Fulgentius of Ruspe (462/467—527/533): On Faith, To Peter 22.62 (CCL 91A:726,750-751); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent, Year I.