Whiter Than Snow

"'Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the Lord,
'Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be white as sow; 
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool."

Isaiah 1:18 (NASB)

Image Courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The book of Isaiah is filled with beautiful passages about redemption and forgiveness.  Isaiah 1:18 is one of the best.  Many Christians are familiar with it, though maybe because of the hymn rather than reading through Isaiah.

One of the reasons I love this verse so much is because it reminds us of the badness of our sin.  Our sins stand out, like red wine spilled on a white lace table cloth.  Sure, maybe you can hide the stain with a centerpiece, but it's still there.  And maybe you're worried through the whole meal that somehow the centerpiece will get moved and then everyone will see what you've been hiding.

Our sin is the same way.  It's obvious, and we all have it, even if we're trying to hide it.  And if we're trying to hide it, we're worried that it will be discovered.

Thankfully, God promises that the stain of our sin will be washed clean, and we'll be left with white freshness, like the beauty of snow before it's been trampled on or driven through.

I think it's easy, though to forget how bad the bad was when the good comes.  We shouldn't dwell on the sin that's been forgiven, but we should not forget where we came from.

Jesus told the Pharisee in Luke 7:47, "For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."  (NASB)

All of us have been forgiven much, though many of us forget just how great our sin was.  I think that sometimes we need to take a moment and remember the magnitude of the sin that we carried, the sin that was carried away.  Once we recognize how much we have truly been forgiven, our love for the One who forgave will multiply.

You talk:

What is your favorite picture of forgiveness?

Do you tend to focus more on the sin you've left behind or the forgiveness you've been given?  Why?

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