Wednesday, Dec 20 | White as snow
About the author: RJ and his wife Libby have been members at ZPC since 2014. They have two daughters, age 9 and 6. The Pollak family has gone on the Kentucky mission trip for several years. RJ is also active in the Great Banquet community.
About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals where we are exploring traditional Advent themes of waiting, mystery, redemption, and incarnation. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc advent to 39970. Advent booklets are also available at the ZPC Welcome Center. We welcome your comments and questions each day.
Redemption | Isaiah 1:18
“Come now, let’s settle this,”
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."
Growing up a “Chreaster,” Christmas to me was all about the glitz, glamour, parties, and presents. You know, the real important materialistic things in life. Although it was a time spent with family, it was not centered around the real joy and excitement of Christmas – the birth of our savior Jesus Christ! It wasn’t until about 4 years ago that Advent and Christmas became a much more important and personal time for me – much different than it ever was before. In my family, the excitement leading up to December 25th is no longer centered around materialistic things. It is now centered around the joy and excitement of getting to celebrate the birth of a baby long ago in Bethlehem.
Isaiah 1:18 and this third week of Advent, focus on redemption. Redemption is something I have struggled with in the past, but I am sure I am not alone here. In Isaiah 1:18, we read about God taking all of our ugly sins in life and washing them away, making us pure and white as snow. Is there a more beautiful picture of God's forgiveness? This is the redemption promised by the prophet Isaiah.
We often feel ourselves outside the boundaries of God’s grace. We think we have gone too far; we have strayed away too long; we have committed too many sins. But God has given us every reason to believe in him. Give up your sins to God, let them all go. Let him take them, and he will wash them away. This is a great promise indeed, assuring us that no matter how much sin has stained our souls, God can cleanse us completely and make us stand before him as his holy people. Remember Emmanuel – God with us? God tells us through the profit Isaiah right here in 1:18 – “Come now, let us settle the matter.” He settles it once and for all. He is with us indeed as he washes away our scarlet red sins.
This is the good news; this is the gospel. It looks forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus and the shedding of his blood. His taking our place that God might put our sins upon him and enable Jesus to give us the gift of righteousness, so that our hearts will be changed. Selfishness is not taken away but it is overcome by the gift of love.