Snow - Part 1
There is something totally magical about snow. On two occasions - once in the Lake District in England and once in Colorado in the States, there was snow the day before we went out. On both occasions, it totally transformed the landscape with a sparkling, shining, white and pure coating. It wasn't that the landscape wasn't already picturesque, but the snow brought an incredible transformation.
Psalm 51:7 -
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
The colour of white is traditionally associated with holiness, purity. A bride, dressed beautifully for her wedding will traditionally wear white to signify purity. In literature, where we find angels, we find they are usually dressed in white (and often wearing some strange wings!) In the picture from Colorado below, we see a vast area just covered in pure, white snow - we needed sunglasses to protect our eyes!
The truth is that when we come before God, it is like we are wearing filthy rags (Isaiah 64.6). We cannot be made right with God by anything we do, or anything we have done. All of us having fallen short of the standard that is required to be right with God (Romans 3.23). Yet because of Jesus, we can be made right with God. In Leviticus 17.11, we find that it is the sacrifice of blood that 'atones' for a life (makes things right). So, we find that in the Old Testament, animals were sacrificed and their blood made a person 'right' with God. But this could only ever be temporary and was only 'symbolic' as Hebrews 10 says the blood of goats and bulls doesn't take away sin.
So God sent Jesus who willingly gave himself for us. He was perfect and committed no sin. Because we humans are sinful, only someone who was human and had no sin could bridge the gap between man and God (Hebrews 2.14). When Jesus was on the cross, his blood was shed seven times in various ways, ending in the blood pouring out his side when he died. But this was a perfect sacrifice that was only needed one time (Hebrews 10.14). By his sacrifice, Jesus has paid the legal price and so we can only come to God through Jesus (Colossians 2.15). Anyone who says anything else is lying or has been fooled. If we trust in Jesus as the Lord of our life, he takes away all our sins and puts his Spirit in us who is perfect (Hebrews 10). We now can relate to God Spirit to Spirit. But we must always be quick to say sorry for wrong things we think, say and do - as there are always consequences for sin. But Jesus makes us right and covers us with 'white robes of righteousness' (see Isaiah 60.10 and Revelation 19.8).
Isaiah 1:18 - “Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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.
A Prayer: Lord, thank you that your blood that you paid when you died on the Cross has made me right with God. Thank you that if I trust in you, I am forgiven, made clean and live a transformed life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Wash me clean with your blood and deliver me from evil. Thank you. Amen.
Snow - Part 2
Not only does snow symbolise being washed clean of our sins and purity, the Bible also talks about snow in the context of God in heaven.
Daniel 7:9 - “As I looked, “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze.
The picture is from a walk towards Flattop Mountain in Colorado. The snow was quite amazing in the Spring heat. If you look carefully, you'll see pure white snow that it is also sparkling and shining in the sun! The picture doesn't quite capture how the snow sparkled and the light diffused with rainbow coloured sparkles!
In Daniel 7, we see a revelation of God. Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and John all had encounters with God and they all ended up disturbed. We find that Daniel was in shock and like a ghost (Daniel 7.28); Isaiah cried out 'Doom! I'm as good as dead!' (Isaiah 6.5); Ezekiel fell to his knees, face to the ground (Ezekiel 1.28); John saw God and fell down as if he were dead (Revelation 1.17). When you truly meet with God, you know it !!
Daniel saw God - the 'Ancient of Days' and his clothing was as white as snow and his hair as white as wool. His throne was flaming with fire (no smoke damage either - a pastor friend of mine was once praying in Brazil with others when the trees seemed to be on fire with flames. But it was the fire of God - nothing burned and my pastor friend even managed to pick up a flaming branch in his hand! True story!) In Revelation 1, we see John's revelation of Jesus (Revelation is really all about Jesus!). We see blinding white purity and eyes as a blazing fire. This is the nature of God - pure, holy and yet eyes blazing with the fire of love and of ultimate judgement.
Revelation 1:14 - The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
A Prayer: Lord, thank you for who you are. We honour you and worship you as a holy and awesome God. You are pure, you are the burning one who alone created the world and alone is worthy of our worship. Forgive us when we don't put you first - in your rightful place. We confess that you alone are God and that we will love you with all our heart, our mind, our soul and strength. And out of that will flow love for others. Amen.