“The Colour Scarlet”

Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole;
I want Thee forever to live in my soul.
Break down every idol, cast out every foe;
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Whiter than snow,
Yes, whiter than snow.
Now wash me, and I
Shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, let nothing unholy remain,
Apply Thine own blood and extract every stain;
To get this blest cleansing, I all things forego—
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, Thou seest I patiently wait,
Come now, and within me a new heart create;
To those who have sought Thee, Thou never said No,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
The blessing by faith, I receive from above;
O glory! my soul is made perfect in love;
My prayer has prevailed, and this moment I know,
The blood is applied, I am whiter than snow.

“Whiter Than Snow”  by William G. Fischer  (1835–1912)


The colour Red, Scarlet, Crimson, whatever the shade is a colour that can be seen beyond or through all the others. 

It grabs your attention.  That’s probably why it’s used for danger and stop signs.  It’s bold!  It’s the colour of blood, which is a hard colour to wash away whatever it touches. 

So many crimes have been solved through the detection of it’s intensity.  “Be sure your sins will find you out!” and the cops say “Got Ya!”

The colour “red” played a large role in our biblical history.

When it was time for the Israelites to be brought out from Egypt, only the blood of a lamb painted on the door frames could prevent them from harm.

“The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”  Exodus 12:13 NIV

“Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.” Exodus 12:22-23

In another incident, a “red” rope was used to protect Joshua’s men.  Before the Israelites cross the Jordan, Joshua sends men to scout out the land. Arriving in Jericho, they decide to spend the night at the house of the prostitute Rahab. When Jericho’s ruler tries to apprehend them, Rahab hides them and then helps them escape through the window, thus saving their lives.

“Rahab’s house was built into the town wall, and one of the windows in her house faced outside the wall. She gave the spies a rope, showed them the window, and said, “Use this rope to let yourselves down to the ground outside the wall.” Joshua 2:15  CEV 

Her name was Rahab. You might think from her profession that she was destined to die an early death, to fade away into shame, the disgraced woman.  However debaucherous, brothers, bars, and “red light” districts have often functioned as infamous meetings placed for military espionage. Thus, we must not be surprised that Joshua’s advance team knew to go to “Rahab’s Place.”  Whatever Rahab was before Israel crossed into the land of the Canaanites she became someone new in the promised land. For Rahab believed. She not only believed in God but she also acted.  Rehab became a central strategic figure of incomparable courage as she helped Israel to enter the promised land and subdue her own people. Whenever the Army of Israel entered Canaan, Rahab acted according to a prearranged plan and hung out a scarlet cord from the window of her establishment. Thus, she and her family were saved. How interesting that a scarlet cord, likely, an emblem of ill-repute, became a sign of salvation.

There has been a trail of blood from Abel’s murder to the wounds of Jesus on the cross.  Jesus brought us justification, Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him.”  Romans 5:9,  and redemption, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance to the riches of His grace.”  Ephesians 1:7,  and cleansing, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.”  Hebrews 9:14 NIV.

How very beautiful to think that it is a scarlet cord of the covenant of God’s grace that binds all of the Word of God together. And in Christ Jesus, the blood-stained crimson cross of shame became the gleaming symbol of salvation.  Red also symbolizes atonement, sacrifice, life, death.

We all know how hard it is to get the stain of blood off of anything it touches.  Yet Jesus’ blood bleaches white as snow, whatever it contacts.  “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.”  Isaiah 1:18

Let’s make this our prayer:

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.  Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.  Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:7-10.  Come into my heart, Jesus, In Your Name I pray.

In many Bibles the words of Jesus are in “red”A bold colour for meaningful words from God through His Son, to fill our hearts and remain there.  Try an exercise in reading just the red words one day.  Make it a conversation with you and Jesus.

Bring an open heart.