Whiter than Snow"
by Andy White
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."
During a snowstorm one stormy winter day as I was watching the snow fall and begin to cover the ground in a blanket of white, it occurred to me what, "whiter than snow" actually means.
Before the snow had begun I had been sitting in my car along the Peconic River in Riverhead praying and meditating on the things of the Lord. The seagulls were hovering around, and there were some geese paddling in the river. The boat moorings along the river were covered with seagull and Canadian geese droppings as well as along the walkways and grass. The reason I point these things out so descriptively is because it speaks of the defilement and the uncleanness of the surroundings in contrast to the clean fresh snow that was beginning to fall. That snow, so beautiful in appearance, and so clean looking, was covering over everything that was dirty and unclean looking. It was causing everything it covered to look clean, fresh, and pure. Yet it only covered the dirt and the bird refuse. It only covered the defilement underneath but nothing essentially changed. The dirt and the dung were still there underneath the snow. The defilement and the corruption were not removed nor washed away. When the sun comes out in its brightness and its glory, and the heat melts away the snow, once again the dirt and the defilement will be seen.
However, the psalmist prayed, "…Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow…" Whiter than snow!
I’m glad that when the Son comes out in His brightness and His glory, and His heat melts away the snow, that there will not be the uncovering of the dirt and dung of our lives because His blood doesn’t just cover but it removes as far as the east is from the west our transgressions! His blood thoroughly removes and cleanses leaving no stain behind! We are not merely covered over by the blood, but completely and thoroughly purged and cleansed!
The psalmist prayed, "…Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow…" because he knew that is what he needed. And our hearts groan within us as well, crying out for the same transformation. And, the wonderful truth is, that is precisely what the shed blood of Jesus Christ applied to our lives will do! Without a doubt, the blood of Jesus Christ is the most precious gift our heavenly Father has given to us. Yet few of us understand its true value and virtue. We often sing about the power of the blood. Indeed, the anthem of the church is, "There is power, power, wonder-working power in the precious blood of the Lamb." Yet, we often fail to comprehend the great significance of the blood. Whether it is a lack of knowledge or a lack of faith we fail to understand how precious the blood of Jesus is for us.
Let me say it again! The blood of Jesus does not merely cover our sins; it completely removes the filth and stain of our sin. The Apostle John was emphatic in his declaration that, "…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."(1 John 1:7)
The word John uses for "cleanses" is the Greek word "katharizo", which means to completely purge and purify. Furthermore, he states from "all sin". The Greek word for "all", means - all! Every sin. Big sins, little sins. Horrible sins and hidden sins. Sins done willfully and sins done mistakenly. All sin period. No sin is too much sin for the cleansing blood of Jesus!
We all know that sin brings on a guilty conscience. The guilt of our sinful actions can haunt us all the days of our lives. How often do we hear the voice of conscience crying out against us! "How could you have done that?" "Oh what did I do?" God in His mercy wants to cleanse your conscience. God is the only one who can cleanse your conscience. And it’s only the blood of Christ that is able to thoroughly cleanse a conscience!
"…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14) "…by the blood of Jesus…having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience..." (Heb 10:19-22)
David prayed in Psalm 51:2, "Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin."
In the Hebrew Language there are two words to express different kinds of washing, and they are always used in the strictest way. The one signifies that kind of washing which pervades the substance of the thing. To wash, and cleanse it thoroughly; and the other to express that kind of washing which only cleanses the surface of a thing which the water cannot penetrate. The former is applied to the washing of clothes; the latter is used for washing the body. David here uses the word for the washing of clothes - that thorough penetrating cleansing.
"Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Psa 51:7)
When David prays, "Purge me with hyssop", he is saying in effect, "sprinkle the cleansing blood upon me by your approved method." In David’s day the "approved method" was the sacrificing and the shedding of the blood of bulls, goats, and lambs. In our day that has been done away with through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross. For, "Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption". (Heb 9:12)
Under the old covenant, the priest stood before the altar day after day, offering sacrifices that could never take away sins. But Jesus offered himself to God as one sacrifice for sins, good for all time.
Therefore the scripture assures us that, "For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." (Heb 10:14) The word perfected here does not mean that we are perfect or that we can never sin or fail. It means that His sacrifice has perfected and accomplished for us a complete acceptance with the father. We are perfected in the sense that we are made acceptable to the Father for all time through the cleansing of His blood. "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." (Col 1:19-20 NIV)
Notice that peace with God is made "through the blood of His cross." Peace with God brings peace of mind. A cleansed conscience. God wants to cleanse your conscience and only the blood of Jesus can do that. No amount of "religious good works" will ever be able to cleanse the conscience of previously committed wrongs. But the blood of Jesus rightly applied and "sprinkled" on our hearts and minds will.
In Scripture the Blood Is Spoken of in Two Ways –
Blood "Shed" and Blood "Sprinkled"!
We all know about the blood Jesus shed for us. When Christ lifted the cup at the last Supper, He said,
"...This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20). Blood shed however is not necessarily blood sprinkled, in other words applied to our lives. The blood of Christ is also called the blood of sprinkling, "…[we have come to]Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant and to the blood of sprinkling…" (Heb 12:24)
His blood was shed for you but have you applied it to your life? How do you apply that blood of sprinkling? Let me say that you don’t come into contact with his blood by just spouting out, the blood…the blood…the blood….the blood…! But there is a way that God has designed for us to come into contact with His blood.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…[for]the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:9;7b)
We come into "contact" with the blood and "sprinkle" it on our hearts through confession of sin and placing faith in Him.
"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."
"No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool." (Isa.1:18 NLT)
The prophet Micah said, "He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19) The sea that God has cast our sins into is the "Red Sea" of Jesus’ blood! Moreover, sins cast away by the Lord are sin’s forgotten by the Lord! For He promised, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Heb 10:17) God does this for us when we apprehend and apply the blood of Jesus to our lives. No matter what you’ve done. No matter how dirty you may feel, no matter how guilty your conscience might be. The blood of Jesus is available to you and me to cleanse us, to heal us, to relieve us of all condemnation and accusation. It is at this point that we must lay hold of the truth of God’s word, trusting Him that He cannot lie. Your conscience, the memory of the things you have done, the devil reminding you of what you have done as well as other people reminding you of what you have done, all that is swept away by the cleansing tide of Jesus’ blood!
Therefore, "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies." (Rom 8:33) "…[and] having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Rom 5:9)
Therefore, who are you, whomever you might be, to bring into remembrance that which God has cast away and declared forgotten? Who are you oh enemy of my soul to "uncover’ that which has been covered over by the blood of Jesus? Yea! And more then just covered over, but completely washed away!
That which has been forgiven and forgotten by God no-one has the right to "bring it up" again. Nobody! Not any devils, not any person, not even my own memory! Or, will we discount and discredit the blood?
"Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us." (Rom 8:34 NLT)
If you have confessed and repented of your sins and have applied the blood of Jesus to your heart and life walk in the freedom of that forgiveness that His blood secures. Do not let anyone, or anything rob you by taking you for a walk down "memory lane"!
The scripture declares, "If any man be in Christ He is a new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become new." (2Cor.5:17) This grace of God not only cleanses us but also changes us making us a new creation. Newness, freshness, clean and bright, that’s what a freshly fallen snow does to a landscape. That’s what the blood of Jesus will do for the landscape of our lives when we put our faith in Him. His blood applied to the wellspring of your life will open up new potentials and possibilities. A destiny and a future which cannot be cut off! By His Blood we truly are made whiter than snow!
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