Sins as Scarlet

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Some years ago, five young men were employed as clerks in different houses of business in a great city. They worked hard during the week, and were in the habit of using the Lord's Day as a day of pleasure. After one such outing they arranged among themselves that they would spend the next at a fashionable resort and there dine at a popular restaurant.
The Lord's Day came. It was a bright, fresh afternoon in December, so they decided to walk there. While on their way, one of them remembered that he had an important message to leave at a house that lay a little off their route. He begged his friends to proceed without him, asking that they wait for him at the restaurant where he would meet them.
He hastened to the house, and delivered his message, then set off to join his friends. In the meantime it had begun to snow, and soon a blinding snowstorm made him seek shelter under the porch of a chapel that he was passing.
Rather unusually, an afternoon gospel service was being held there, and the door-keeper, hearing someone outside, opened the door and warmly invited him to come inside. At first he refused; but being pressed at least to come inside out of the snowstorm, he very reluctantly entered and took a seat immediately inside the door, meaning to slip out again as soon as the storm had abated.
Just as he sat down, the preacher, in a clear ringing voice, gave out his text: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Isa. 1:18.
The young man's attention was at once arrested.
The dazzling white snow he had just left came forcibly before his mind, and the thought of himself in the midst of it, with all his "scarlet sins" upon him. In connection with this providential circumstance, in which God's gracious hand can clearly be seen, the Spirit of God applied to his soul the word he had so unexpectedly heard.
Immediately he became deeply convicted of his state of sinfulness in the sight of God. "White as snow" and "sins as scarlet" kept ringing in his ears, and for a time he heard nothing more of what the preacher was saying. He simply trembled before the righteous and holy God against whom, up till now, he had been heedlessly sinning all his life. In an agony of distress he almost groaned aloud, "God have mercy upon me."
Just then the voice of the preacher again struck upon his ear with the question: "Do my hearers ask, `But how can scarlet sins become white as snow?' There is but one answer: by 'THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB."
"Thus we read in Revelation 7 of those 'who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.' Nothing, nothing but the blood of the Lamb avails before God to put away sin. 'WHEN I SEE THE BLOOD, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.' Exo. 12:13.
"For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul' was Jehovah's proclamation to Israel in the Old Testament. 'Without shedding of blood is no remission' is the solemn statement of the Spirit of God in the New Testament."
The preacher showed more fully from the Scripture that nothing but the death of the victim, witnessed by the shed blood (type of the Lord Jesus taking the sinner's place under the wrath of God on the cross), would satisfy the claims of God's name and nature against the sinner under condemnation on account of sin. Then he closed with an earnest appeal to all who heard him and were still sinners lost in their sins, to yield themselves at once to God's gracious entreaty: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow."
The meeting was over. Afraid of being spoken to, the young man hastily left the chapel. But he did not follow his companions to their promised meeting. The snow again was falling fast, and as he took his way back to his lodgings, a convicted and repentant sinner, he kept repeating to himself, "Sins as scarlet," —"White as snow,"—"Blood of the Lamb."
After several days of great distress of soul, he began searching his Bible. There he found perfect peace with God by believing in Christ Jesus as the One who, for all who trust in Him, has made "peace by the blood of His cross." Col. 1:20. He read that he was a child of God by simple "faith in Christ Jesus," Gal. 3: 26, and was able to say with assurance, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth [me] from all sin." 1 John 1:7.
A thoroughly changed man, he at once boldly confessed Christ among his companions, turned his back upon the sinful pleasures of the world, and became a well-known and much-blessed preacher of the gospel.
Shortly before the Lord took him to Himself, he preached in a crowded hall in this seine city. As he often did, he told the story of the snowstorm and his own conversion with graphic and thrilling detail. Many souls were blessed that night, and one case in particular was memorable.
It was that of a young man who, long under a very deep sense of sin, had vainly been seeking peace with God by living a clean life. At the after-meeting he remained for prayer. When asked if he was "saved," he replied with deep feeling: "No, I wish I were!"
"Then you don't know what it is to be 'white as snow' in God's presence?"
"Oh, no! I am still in my 'scarlet sins.' "
"But don't you believe in Jesus and His precious blood?"
"Yes, I do!"
"Then, if that be true, you cannot be 'still in your scarlet sins,' for God's Word says, speaking of all believers in Jesus, 'The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.' "
With a look of intense eagerness on his face, he exclaimed, "What! Do you mean to say that all who simply believe in Jesus are washed in His blood from all their 'scarlet sins,' and are 'white as snow'?"
"Yes, most certainly. Does not the Apostle Paul say that through Jesus 'is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things'? All who truly believe in Jesus can say, 'Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood.' "
The Spirit of God at once flashed the truth into his mind. His face lit up with joy, and he cried out, "Thank God, thank God! I see, I see; I am 'white as snow' in His sight through faith in 'the blood of the Lamb.' "
Set free from legal bondage by faith in the blood of Christ, another soul became a witness of the grace of God to poor lost sinners. And so the consequences of that memorable snowstorm flows on, with its sweet story of "scarlet sins" made "white as snow" by simple faith in "the blood of the Lamb."