This past winter, I got to experience snow. A lot of it. Maybe a little more than I wanted. On the positive side, I got some pictures and some thinking out of it. Snow is used as an illustration for forgiveness in the Bible. Isaiah 1:18 says, “…’Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.”
Think about a front yard. Let’s say it is a yard that hasn’t been well kept. There are pop cans strewn about. A broken cooking dish is lying next to a set of steps that looks like it could be pushed over without much effort. It isn’t a place you want to look at. Then something happens. Little white specks start falling from the sky.
At first just a few. Then more and more until the yard looks sprinkled with powdered sugar. Then only the tips of blades of grass show. Then the lawn is a solid blanket of ivory. All of the refuse and clutter is covered, and all that is visible is purity. It doesn’t matter what was left exposed in the beginning. Now everything below is camouflaged beneath a blanket of equality. Now you can’t tell what was wrong with the yard.
In the same way, God can cover up our sins when we repent and ask for forgiveness. It’s as though they never existed. Hebrews 8:12 says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Once we are forgiven, there is no trace of what was wrong with us before in God’s eyes. This is stated beautifully in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
On their own, some front yards are more aesthetically pleasing than others. Some have intricate landscaping and colorful gnomes. When covered with snow, it doesn’t make a difference. All yards look pretty much the same. It is similar with Christians. Whether what you needed removed was “big” or not, once we are under the cover of forgiveness, we’re all just white like snow. I Corinthians 6:10 lists several of the more unglamorous sins. The following verse says “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” I love this verse, and my two favorite words in it are the first “were” and “but.” Whatever we have been, we aren’t now, because God has taken it away.
The thing about snow is it melts. We are human, and we will sin again. The pop cans start to show up as heralds that all is not as it should be. That’s why I John 1:7 is so important. It says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This statement addresses believers who are following God. It points out that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from sin while we are in this state.
I am so thankful for the blessing of forgiveness. I miss the “do overs” I used to be generously given when I was little. Even though adult life doesn’t provide them often, God does. We won’t remain sinless on our own; when we make mistakes, we require forgiveness again. We need another snowfall.
May the Lord bless and keep you,