February 12 | Bible in a Year: Leviticus 13; Matthew 26:26-50
The Miracle of White Snow
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.
READ ISAIAH 1:15–20
In the seventeenth century, Sir Isaac Newton used a prism to study how light helps us see different colors. He found that when light passes through an object, the object appears to possess a specific color. While a single ice crystal looks translucent, snow is made up of many ice crystals smashed together. When light passes through all of the crystals, snow appears to be white.
The Bible mentions something else that has a certain color—sin. Through the prophet Isaiah, God confronted the sins of the people of Judah and described their sin as “like scarlet” and as “red as crimson.” But God promised they would “be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). How? Judah needed to turn away from wrongdoing and seek God’s forgiveness.
Thanks to Jesus, we have permanent access to God’s forgiveness. Jesus called Himself “the light of the world” and said whoever follows Him “will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). When we confess our sins, God forgives us and we’re seen through the light of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This means that God sees us as He sees Jesus—blameless.
We don’t have to wallow in the guilt and shame of what we’ve done wrong. Instead, we can hold on to the truth of God’s forgiveness, which makes us “white as snow.” By Linda Washington
REFLECT & PRAY
Heavenly Father, thank You for the forgiveness You freely offer. What does it mean to be completely forgiven? What helps you remember that God has forgiven you?
The imagery in Isaiah 1:15-20 stands as a testimony to the universal accessibility of the Bible’s wisdom. Isaiah uses the dual analogies of snow and wool to convey the idea of flawless and complete cleanliness of heart (1:18). Fresh fallen snow transforms a bleak winter landscape with its blanket of white, but readers who have never been to a cold climate can’t fully grasp that experience. However, such people would likely be familiar with the brilliant whiteness of freshly shorn sheep’s wool. In this way Isaiah clearly communicated to everyone in the world that our sins, though as red as the blood on the hands of a killer (v. 15), can be washed away. Although Isaiah prophesied to Judah specifically, the deep soul-cleansing described here applies to all and requires the blood of Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb. Tim Gustafson