There was obviously the hefty dump we had in February, and now at the end of the year we’ve had the first white Christmas that I can remember. And the white stuff’s not done with yet! In fact as I sit here typing there are massive flakes falling from the sky, several inches lying on the ground and very few people out and about on the estate (apart from the usual snowball terrorists!) I love the snow – it brings out the kid in me like very few other things can (except possibly Jelly Babies!)
However, this particular flurry has got me feeling all theological.
Well perhaps not theological – perhaps just thankful…for grace!
I found myself thinking about those brilliant words in Isaiah 1v18:
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow“
I love that God Himself wants to talk us through the realities of grace! He gets us to face up to the scarlet scandal of our own sin, then points us to His promise of forgiveness and the gift of a snow-white soul. These words echo those penned by king David as he pleaded with God for forgiveness after his sin as an adulterous murderer had been exposed:
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.“ (Psalm 51v7)
How is that possible? How can scarlet sin, such as adultery and murder be made whiter than the pure snow?
Answer: The cross of Jesus!
Fast forward 1000 years. Jesus – the spotless Lamb of God – was nailed to a cruel Roman cross and stained with every last trace of my sin (and the sin of the world) shedding His own blood as payment for my debt and transferring His own righteousness to my account. Crazy as it may sound, my scarlet soul was purged – whiter than snow – by the crimson blood of Jesus! Check out how John put it:
“the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1John 1v7)
Across the valley from my house I can see several industrial slag-heaps – black coal-tips that scar the mountainside, telling the story of decades of industrial abuse. When it snows like it is today – the black slag is completely covered by a pure white blanket.
It’s a strong picture of what Christ has done for me.
Ugliness is replaced by beauty.
It’s the majesty of the gospel.