(By Kelly Mcdonald Jr) The Feast of Atonement is the last of the Ten Days of Awe. The Ten Days of Awe are overlooked by many people. They are special because they are Ten Days of Grace between Trumpets and Atonement.
Rebekah’s family begged for her to stay 10 more days before they let her go to marry Isaac (Genesis 24:55). It was 10 days between Nabal’s rejection of David and the Lord striking him dead (I Samuel 25:38). Every 10 days Nehemiah was abundantly supplied with provisions (Nehemiah 5:18). There were 10 days from the time the people of Judah asked for a Word from the Lord until Jeremiah actually received one (Jeremiah 42:7). There were 10 days between Daniel’s request to abstain from the King’s Table from when the king’s men checked on them (Daniel 1:12-15). There were 10 days before Paul was brought to Agrippa (Acts 25:6). Jesus ascended to Heaven 10 days before the Feast of Pentecost (Acts 1:3).
We can see some interesting parallels between all of these ten-day accounts. Ten days’ grace means the Lord is allowing us to change our mind for the better. Nabal could have repented. Rebekah could have decided to stay with her family. It is also a transition period in our lives. Daniel and his friends’ appearance actually improved over ten days. This event initiated a transition of ascension in the kingdom of Babylon. They were exalted to leadership positions and opportunities from this point forward. Will we leave our past to embrace our future, as did Rebekah? Rebekah, who represents the Bride of Christ, married Isaac, who represents Jesus! We have ten days to decide.
On the Feast of Atonement, the 10th day, the Lord has a Word for you about your upcoming year. He wants to direct you, but He wants to see if we are willing to make the change during the allotted time.
The Feast of Atonement is when the high priest would make sacrifices for the whole nation. The main focus of the day is on two goats. One goat was sacrificed as the Lord’s goat; it was sacrificed for forgiveness. The high priest would make atonement for the people on the Ark of the Covenant and the Altar of Incense. This animal represented Jesus being our sin offering. Jesus took His blood into Heaven and placed it on the actual Ark and Altar of Incense in Heaven. You can read about this in Hebrews chapters 6-10.
The second goat was chosen as the azazel or scapegoat. This goat had the sins of the people confessed over it and was chased out of the camp. In later times, they chased this goat off of a cliff. The Israelites did not want the animal to bring the sins of the people back into the camp (which is why it was chased out). Prophetically, this represents Satan the devil having the sins of the world confessed over him by Jesus Christ and then being placed into the pit for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:1-3).
Jesus is allowed to judge Satan the devil because He overcame the devil. Just before Jesus was crucified, He said, “…and in regard to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). Jesus overcame all the sins of humanity. This allows him to judge Satan and his evil angels. Paul said that we will judge angels (I Cor. 6:1-3). We can only judge evil angels to the extent that we overcome.
When we look at the two goats, we can see more revelation. Just as the Azazel goat is chased out of the camp, we cannot allow sin to reign in our bodies. As Paul said, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12). This allows the devil and his minions access into our lives. To drive out the devil in Revelation 20:1-3, we cannot let him in now.
There is a powerful example from Jesus’ life that helps us to see this. In John 20:22-23, the Bible reads, “22 And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’” Discussing the Spirit of God, Jesus said we must forgive others. The Greek word translated as “not forgiven” is aphiemi. It means to divorce or “send away”. This can refer to the azazel goat being sent away from the camp!
Remember that the azazel goat was sent out of the camp because the sins of the nation were placed upon it. Jesus is telling us that when we forgive someone, we send the azazel goat OUT of OUR camp! When we refuse to forgive someone, the azazel goat remains in our camp! In Hebrews 12:15, the Bible reads, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” A root of bitterness defiles many. When the azazel goat is running through our camp, it defiles many people, including us. It leads to many other sins such as jealousy, envy, rage, lust, rebellion, etc. This is because all sins are placed on the azazel goat, and forgiveness is the key to release it from the camp.
As aforementioned, the Greek Word aphiemi also means “to divorce”. When we repent of our sins, Jesus divorces our sins from us. Jesus forgave us so we could forgive others. After all, He forgave us on the cross. All of these revelations will help us take a deeper look at Atonement and a deeper look into ourselves as we prepare for the holiest day of the year, which begins Friday September 29th at sunset.
You can follow Kelly at kellymcdonaldjr.com