Last year my Yom Kippur was … horrendous. That’s the only way to describe it in one word. Intense judgment was brought upon me and my family through slander and gossip. Rather than being set free from wrongs we may or may not have committed in the previous year (years), we were put into a spiritual bondage that none of us could have ever imagined. I am still mystified as to why anyone would, on the Day of Atonement, judge someone else’s life, rather than seek personal forgiveness for their own anger, bitterness, and jealousy. I am still confounded as to why anyone would seek to break fellowship with another believer on the Day of Atonement rather than work toward restoration between themselves, others and, in reality God. Yom Kippur is a time for introspection to make ‘things right’ with those we may have offended in order to end spiritual oppression. It is not the time for putting another person into a place of judgment.
Yeshua, as our High Priest, went into the heavenly Holy of Holies to offer his own blood as atonement for our sins not only between God and ourselves, but also between one another. We are going to always fall short of God’s glory, but through Yeshua’s sacrifice, we are forgiven and that forgiveness comes without conditions. Our sins are thrown into the depths of the sea and are as far away as the east is from the west.
We are to imitate our Messiah with unconditional forgiveness or it’s really not forgiveness. Forgiveness also involves forgiving an oppressor even when they don’t ask for forgiveness. Yeshua said on the cross, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Sometimes people just don’t know what they are doing to another person, but no matter what, we are to forgive them.
I know that I’m not sinless. I would never claim to be. I also know that when I do sin against someone else (and I am aware), I say that I am sorry and ask forgiveness. Whether or not they accept my apology and forgive me is not my issue. If they want to keep unforgiveness in their heart, it will only hinder their relationship with God. When someone asks me to forgive them, I don’t judge their heart and wonder if they meant it or if the situation will happen again. I forgive them and don’t consider whether this will be the first of seventy times seven. Forgiveness is that quick because I trust in the work Messiah has done on the cross.
May Yom Kippur 5773 be the beginning of a year of fasting in the way our Father defines it through the prophet Isaiah. May we all have the unconditional forgiveness that the Father has had for us, that Yeshua spoke of on the cross, and that we are to have for one another – ‘forgive us as we forgive those who have sinned against us’ – so that the oppressed to free, the yokes are broken and all things can be restored as an immeasurable testimony to our Father’s love, mercy, grace and power in our lives.
©September 2012 Tentstake Ministries