A popular idea in Christianity is that we have been made clean, or given a blank slate, or washed white as snow. There are countless worship songs that mention this, and it’s such a beautiful picture. Our sins were scarlet, our account was marred, but Jesus washed us white as snow.
But what happens when we mess up? When we miss the mark, it feels like we smear black on our slate and we have to start all over again to get clean. Growing up, I thought I needed to be re-baptized, or re-dedicated, or re-saved every single time I did something I shouldn’t have. I wanted to be white as snow again.
I didn’t realize that my clean slate was unstainable.
Our slate is spotless, fresh, and white because Jesus gave us His own slate when He took the punishment for our sin upon Himself. As Christians, when we mess up, it doesn’t go on our slate; it goes to the cross, where it has already been covered. Our sins, past, present, and future, have been accounted for.
My slate was unstainable, because it was never about my work; it was about Christ’s finished work.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
When we said in faith that Jesus is Lord, and believed in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead, we were justified through His blood, and sanctified through His Spirit. We were washed clean forever.
“He concludes, I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins. Once sins are taken care of for good, there’s no longer any need to offer sacrifices for them. Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of His sacrifice, acting as our priest before God.” – Hebrews 10:17-18, 20 (The Message)
When we hear those words in worship songs—washed white as snow—they are meant to remind us of the punishment Jesus took on our behalf, and the grave He conquered to secure our eternity. We are washed white as snow, not because of our own actions, but because of Jesus. Even if we mess up, or miss the mark, our slate remains clean because Jesus finished His work.