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Finding Freedom Through Atonement

Yom Kippur is the highest holy day of the year on God’s calendar. But what makes this day so special? Isn’t every day sacred? Since the Son has come, isn’t every day holy in Him?

Imagine a husband trying to tell his wife that there is really no need to celebrate their anniversary anymore. “You already know that I love you! Why make such a big deal about our anniversary?” Now imagine that husband sleeping on the couch.

The truth is that anniversaries are important to us. How much more important are God’s anniversaries to Him?

Yom Kippur is the final day of what’s referred to as “The Ten Days of Awe,” starting with Yom Teruah (The Feast of Trumpets). People all over the world pray and repent with tremendous intention as they prepare for this final day of fasting that ends with the final judgment. This day represents the future Day of Judgment that the Bible talks about—the day the earth will be judged one last time. And on that day we definitely don’t want to be found with any anger, bitterness, or sin in our lives!

Indeed, this time of the year is a great spiritual cleanse and rehearsal for our future wedding day with our King. It’s a time we right all of our wrongs. It’s a time when we pray and fast and confess our sins to the King and to one another. It is a time of great anticipation, as the God of the Universe will soon judge us. And it is a time of thanking Him for giving us such beautiful and prophetic reminders for how to prepare to meet our King.

In a very real way, Yom Kippur is the anniversary of our King and His bride (us). On this day, it is as if the King, as the high priest of old, takes his bride by the hand and brings her into the innermost chamber of his heart and atones for her sins of unfaithfulness from the previous year. On this day, every year, He chose to forgive ancient Israel. He didn’t have to, but praise be to the Father, He chose to. He also didn’t have to send His beloved Son to be the atoning sacrifice for the sins of mankind. But because of His great love for His bride and His desire to have a deep and intimate relationship with her, He chose to.

So, in the midst of your frustration and anger with your spouse or fellow man, when you don’t feel like doing much of anything good for them, what do you choose? The true character of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) always chooses love and forgiveness. This is the formula for life. Forgiving others sets us free from all the anger and bitterness that the enemy tries his best to drown us in. Choosing to forgive and pray for those who have hurt you will open up the reservoir of His shalom and will prevent the enemy from stealing your blessing and your inheritance.

Yom Kippur is all about forgiveness. It’s all about your personal repentance and forgiveness and then extending that same forgiveness to your fellow man. It’s all about gaining your freedom. And that freedom comes only through atonement and forgiveness. May Yahweh grant you the courage this day to love the way He loves and forgive the way He forgives.

Jim Staley,


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