Anticipating Advent: White as Snow

Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient,
    you will eat the good things of the land;
20 but if you resist and rebel,
    you will be devoured by the sword.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
from Isaiah 1

In Isaiah’s vision given by the Lord we are given a picture of Israel’s rebellion and corruption right from the beginning which brings God’s judgment, declaring that his people were like Sodom and Gomorrah.  All the sacrifices and religious ritual were empty practices.

Then God’s mercy is revealed. Lets talk about this , says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, if you are willing and obedient.

Scarlet is a very vibrant color.  As an artist, I very seldom use this color for that reason.
In Ohio, where I was born and raised, we had a great deal of fog.  Driving in the fog was very difficult.  One time I just followed the scarlet tail lights of a semi.  They were visible through the fog.  Israel’s sins were clearly visible to God through their attempt to fog God off with their pious practices.
God is a God of mercy and love and grace: I will make your sins as white as snow.  God didn’t reveal how this would happen until it is declared in the vision in Isaiah 53.  There we see one who is stricken by God, pierced for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities.  The punishment that brought us the white snow of peace was upon him.
This vision is, of course, of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
~Pastor Jack Matheis



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