Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. Come now, 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 become like wool.
— Isaiah 1:16-18 ESV

In this passage, Isaiah is recalling a vision he got from the Lord. Isaiah is warning the people of Judah about their sin and what God has planned. Verse 16 shows the charge put on the God’s people for hundreds of years, give a sacrifice for your sins to right your relationship with God, though there was never a sacrifice able to cover the cost – until Jesus. That’s why we have to keep reading! Verse 17 shows a glimpse of God’s heart, calling His people away from their inward desires and instead teaching them to look outwards. Verse 18 shows Jesus foreshadowing His own death and resurrection. He took on our crimson sins, died,  and rose again three days later. This act left the sins of all believers "white as snow"!

 

why does this passage matter to us?

This matters in our lives because we must first acknowledge our sin, the moments that we chose something different than God. This can be the moments we chose ourselves, our desires, or something outside of the good things God has for us. Second, we must ask God to reveal the things He wants us to spend our time, prayers, and talents on; the things of His heart! Finally, we get to praise Jesus for the sacrifice He made. Jesus wrapped himself in flesh, the King left His throne all for us to know Him and be set free!

We live this passage out by accepting redemption from Jesus and taking our actions and thoughts captive. We choose to turn from sin when we are faced with it, ask for God’s heart, and celebrate Jesus for making us new!

pray

Here’s a prayer we can pray to help us learn from what Isaiah wrote:
Jesus, Thank you! Thank you that you are completely apart from sin. That you lived the life I could never live, but you chose me anyways. Thank you for choosing to share your glory and passions with me. Thank you for making me new, for forgiving me even when I can’t forgive myself, and for loving me enough to conquer the grave. Amen. 

- Morgan Reed