Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is a Jewish holy day that is supposed to deal with our shortcomings and get us right with God and each other. Kippur is literally “covering.” Which is interesting b/c apparently, the first thing people wanted to do about sin was cover up. Adam and Eve tried to design their own covering in what Tim Gunn would describe as a “make it work” moment.
But the fig leaf design that Adam and Eve came up with didn’t work. I don’t know what it looked like, but even if it was fashion forward it missed the point of what a covering was supposed to be. Their second attempt to cover up was to blame each other and blame God. Sound familiar? That didn’t work either.
So God, the original designer, clothed the first two people on what was really the first day of atonement. The animal skins God used showed the tragedy of sin … innocent animals had to give their lives in order for human beings to have our sin properly covered.
Today people don’t think much about sin. Many of us figure that we’ve got ourselves covered, that we’ve got our own spirituality, our own religion, our own whatever – and it “works” for us.
But as Yom Kippur approaches, we are reminded that our own philosophy and our own religion and our own whatever just can’t cover us in a “make it work moment” with God. Because if we want peace with God, we need to care about what works for him.
Yom Kippur helps us see what works for God: for us to admit that we wronged him (often by wronging others) and to admit that our wrongs are destructive and alienate us from each other as well as from him. And after admitting that, we can receive the forgiveness and righteousness he offers us—on his terms, not ours.
In Bible times, his terms were the animal sacrifices that reenacted the tragic story of sin over and over, helping each generation understand our need to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. But God had a permanent solution in mind. Someone who had no sin would willingly sacrifice himself once and for all. Since there was no such person, God did it himself, through Yeshua (Jesus).
It may not be fashionable to believe in Jesus as our kippur or covering. But have you noticed, fashion is always changing and redirecting its followers. That doesn’t only go for clothing, but for many ideas people claim will solve our problems and bring us peace.
God has an eternal, unchanging beauty and style that is always full of grace. He offers us a timeless covering for our sin. So what will you be wearing this Yom Kippur? Receive Yeshua as your kippur, and he will not only change your life here and now, but when you leave this world to face your maker, you’ll definitely be covered.