20th MESSIANIC SYMBOL for the Advent Season: Snow

December 20:  Isaiah 1:18

“Come now, let us reason together,” 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” (NIV)

We often use snowflakes in our Christmas decorations. In the Northern Hemisphere Christmas comes during the coldest part of the year, so we think about Christmas and winter together. We sing songs about a “white Christmas,” and hope that we will have snow on Christmas day. But Isaiah gives us another reason why the snowflake is a good symbol for Christmas—it reminds us of what Jesus did for us. He died to remove our sins and make us pure.

This verse uses two words for red: scarlet and crimson. Red is the color of blood and violence. Because red was considered a permanent color, one that would not wash out easily, it was thought of as the opposite of white. Even today bloodstains on clothing are hard to get out.

Isaiah says that even though our souls are stained red with sin, God promises to make them clean and white. The color white is a symbol of purity. Probably the whitest thing we ever see is new-fallen snow. It is so pure and bright that when the sunlight falls on it, the brightness of the snow can cause snow blindness. This kind of bright whiteness provides a picture of the holiness of God.

Isaiah promises that God will change our sin-stained hearts to be pure and holy. God does this through the forgiveness Jesus provides. We could never do anything ourselves to wash away the stain caused by our sin, but Jesus’ death on the cross has done that. Strangely, it is His blood, the very color that is associated with sin, that makes our hearts clean. “And the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (I John 1:7).

This year when you see snowflake Christmas decorations, remember God’s promise to give us pure hearts.

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured—
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin!

Dark is the stain that cannot hide–
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide–
Whiter than snow you may be today.

Julia Harriette Johnston (1849-1919)

Thank God for sending His Son to shed His blood and die on the cross that you might be forgiven. Thank God for His forgiveness and cleansing.

Ask God to help you to stop doing wrong and learn to do right. Ask God to remove your sins and to purify your life.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Adelaide Addison Pollard (1862-1934)

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