The gospel is a message of good news for all people, and as a result, much of God’s word is written in such a way that the common man can easily understand it. The Bible is full of illustrations that are drawn from everyday life experiences that we can relate to. As winter arrives and a snow blankets the ground, I am reminded of one of those illustrations.
In Isaiah 1:18, God invited His people to come back to Him:
“Come now, and let us reason together,
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow.”
David echoed this concept in Psalm 51, when he begged the LORD for forgiveness after committing both adultery and murder.
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
There is something beautiful about looking out across a field that is covered in a blanket of clean, glistening snow. The flawless white surface conveys simplicity, peace, and above all, purity. Sometimes we almost hesitate to walk through the yard because we hate to mess up the surface, leaving evidence of our presence with the imperfections we leave behind.
And of course, once snow is made dirty, it is impossible to make it look perfect again. Once dirt, grime, and sludge from city life have turned it black, or we traipse across that pristine field with muddy shoes, there is no going back.
This is an excellent example of what sin does to our lives. When we look back at our lives we see dirt, mud, grime, and sludge being tracked all over what started out so perfect.
What God offers us through His Son in the gospel seems almost too good to be true. He offers to restore that pure white, glistening field to its original condition. Though our sins are as scarlet, He is willing to make them as white as snow again. In fact, according to David, He will make us even whiter than snow could ever be.
This is what has been referred to as the scandal of Grace. This is the outrageous and wonderful nature of our forgiveness. This is why it is called the gospel, or literally, the good news. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
He did what we could never have hoped to do in making us as white as snow once more. The purity that belongs to Jesus Christ Himself is imputed to us, and day by day we are being transformed into His image.