The day of atonement is that day on the cross, that sacrifice for our sins and for our salvation. How ironic it is that a symbol of the cruelest form of punishment is transformed into a tool of salvation. An instrument that was promoted as an instrument of terror becomes a sign of G-d’s love for man. Whenever I hear that phrase exaltation of the Cross, that irony is always the first emotion to strike. Death on a cross is unimaginable pain and a horrid indignity. Then though I remember that the suffering was defeated as was that indignity. What was raised for terror became an emblem for salvation, and stood raised in triumph. It is difficult to celebrate a victory without knowing the battle, yet when one looks at that battle that took place on that tree and realizes what was done for me; that Cross is truly raised in triumph. It is reconciliation to G-d, the atonement of my sins, and my liberation. I can see the pain, the suffering, the indignity, and the evil. I then can see the reconciliation, and love, and salvation. I can see both the good and the evil, yet in the end it is the supreme good that triumphs. The triumph of the Cross, the exaltation of that Cross. Atonement and Salvation.