Today, as I sat in church, a thought struck me. The little girl who was baring her testimony of Christ and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows us to have a “do over,” I thought, “Christ is my white out! Because of Him I can rewrite my story anytime.”
I know. It’s a weird thought. It’s just how my mind works.
Isaiah 1:18 puts it this way, “…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
I have read that the Hebrew words for scarlet (shani) and crimson (tola) signify where the colors were derived from – a worm.
Ancient cultures placed great importance on dyes. Especially those used in sacred purposes. The point of the dye is that is not only colorful but colorfast! Its rich color will stick to cloth and not fade or wash away.
The significance of scarlet and crimson in this passage from Isaiah is clear to me. Both are a bright red. Both are vibrant. Both stand out. Red has a strong psychological effect on people. It can remind us of blood, sometimes a symbol of guilt. This symbol points to our sins as grievous and obvious. As a dye, scarlet and crimson are permanent… much like our sins. (Remember, “the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” – Alma 45:16).
“According to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish” (Alma 34:9).
I completely get the reference to wool. After all, the Bible has all kinds of stories of sheep, lambs and shepherds. Wool was one of the most common fabrics in ancient Israel, and raising sheep was a common occupation. To make it a purer and brighter white in preparation for dyeing, wool was commonly soaked and washed in a strong soap.
It just never occurred to me that there was snow in the Middle East. I looked it up. There is snow. It even snowed in Bethlehem and Jerusalem within the past few winters. Snow is rare. However, in the northern part of the country, Mount Hermon is covered in snow every winter.
It doesn’t snow much where I live – maybe a couple of days a year. When I was a kid in Central Oregon it snowed far more – and in college in Utah there was always snow. I love a good snow day. Its fluffy softness covers the dirt and grime of the world as if to say, “Here is a blank page. Let’s see what you can do with the world today.” Snow does have a magic of its own. It has glistening uniqueness and a brilliant beauty that both captivates and inspires. The crystalline beauty emanates from its color, a white that exudes un-defiled purity and cleanness.
White is like snow and always symbolizes the absence of sin. White represents purity.
Changing our sins from scarlet or crimson is nothing short of a miracle. God can do something that is impossible for us to do on our own. A cloth dyed red stays red. However, regardless of the stains of sin, the Atonement of Jesus Christ can make us pure again if and as we repent.
Joseph Smith – “All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin.”
When I remember trudging through the snow on a moonlight night, following my dad to the road; when I think of the exquisite loveliness of new snow glistening in the sun, I stand “all amazed” at the greatness of the redeeming power of Christ. My sins, your sins, my disappointments, your disappointments, my sorrow, and your sorrow, though scarlet red, can be made white through the blood and resurrecting power of Jesus Christ.
That is what makes God’s grace so amazing.
When I stand to meet God, there can be no sin found, not even a smidgen of scarlet permitted. I need my white out to rewrite my story. I need the sacrifice of Jesus to make my soul white and pure before God. Only Jesus Christ can render me whiter than snow, a white that no launderer on earth can reproduce.
Only Christ can clothe us in robes of white with the kind of purity God requires. Like snow covers the dirt and chaos of the earth, Jesus covers our sins, heartaches, and sorrow and makes us clean and new. We have a “do over.” Born again, clothed in exceedingly white robes, we will sparkle forever like fresh fallen snow as we put the saving power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to action within our lives.
“I testify that the Savior is able and eager to forgive our sins. Except for the sins of those few who choose perdition after having known a fullness, there is no sin that cannot be forgiven. What a marvelous privilege for each of us to turn away from our sins and to come unto Christ. Divine forgiveness is one of the sweetest fruits of the gospel, removing guilt and pain from our hearts and replacing them with joy and peace of conscience.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Repent … That I May Heal You,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 40–41.
Because of the Savior Jesus Christ I have the opportunity to start over, rewrite, and brighten my story anytime I want to pick up the White Out and apply the Atoning Grace of the Redeemer to my life. He is the greatest White Out.
Originally posted 1 week ago by Wendy Boyack on Resigning as the General Manger of the Universe powered by Blogger.