I am writing this article in the early hours of Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. A snow fell through the night. Most Oklahomans crawled out of bed, pulled back the curtains and found the whole world covered, clean and quiet.
I know that this snow will create problems. It will not take long for this moment to pass. But for now, in this first hour of the day, this snow is wonderful. It reminds me of the Good News of Jesus. In Christ Jesus, we are covered, clean and quiet. I think David must have sat in a window like this and considered the early morning after a good snow. The poet king describes forgiveness in all three ways—covered, clean and quiet.
To be forgiven is to have our sins covered. “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!” (Ps. 32:1 CSB). Just as this snow has quietly covered all that I can see from this window, He covers our ugly, offensive sins. Paul quotes this same psalm of David in Rom. 4:6 to support the promise of imputed or credited righteousness. “Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works.” Hallelujah! In Christ Jesus, our sins are covered!
In this moment, the whole world is so clean. The white snow covers the grass, trees, roads, sidewalks and rooftops. There is not a tire track or a footprint to be seen. I know that when the sun rises, the landscape will sparkle a brilliant white. To be forgiven in Christ Jesus, is to be covered and clean. When David asks the LORD to forgive his sin, he says, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow!” (Ps. 51:7 CSB) “Come, let us settle this, says the LORD. Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow” (Isa. 1:18 CSB) Hallelujah! In Christ Jesus, we have been made clean!
For some reason, the snow brings quiet—a quiet you can feel when you first step outside. The blanket of snow muffles all the normal noises of the morning. Cars stay parked; people stay home; busy schedules and “important” tasks can wait.
The day is quiet. People are quiet. In Psalm 131, David sings of his soul as calm and quiet. Only Jesus gives us a quiet soul. His finished work on the cross allows us to be still on a snowy morning and say with all peace, “It is well with my soul.”
We have good news to share. Jesus makes us covered, clean and quiet.
James Nicholson was born in Ireland and moved to the United States in the 1850s. He was a postal clerk and a Methodist layman. He put together some words we still like to sing.
Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole, I want Thee forever to ransom my soul;
Break down every idol, cast out every foe; Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, for this I most humbly entreat; I wait, blessed Lord, at Thy crucified feet;
By faith for my cleansing I see Thy blood flow: Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Lord Jesus, Thou knowest 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.