In this verse God uses two quite different shades of red to highlight how He sees sin. Crimson is slightly darker than scarlet, inclining to more of a purple shade, while scarlet has bright red or orange tone. Both shades of red are the hardest stains or marks to remove, and will always carry some residual mark no matter how many times they are treated and washed. An example of this is the Annatto berries that are used to colour Red Leicester cheese – if the berries stain gets on your hands it’s terribly hard to remove.
In this verse God likens both shades of red to sin; seemingly impossible to remove. Perhaps you feel that way about your sins or failings. The enemy will certainly tell you that if you let him. Many lovely Christians carry the guilt of sin around with them, and some believe what they’ve done can never be forgiven – the stain is indelible. But what does God say?
Joshua 2:18 ‘unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home’. This story is a part of the narrative with Rahab the harlot. Because she helped the Israelite spies, they told her she and her family could be spared, as long as she put a scarlet cord out of the window to signify that they weren’t to be hurt. The Bible uses scarlet, red, or crimson as colours that symbolise sin, but something symbolic is often used to mark people for salvation.
Exodus 12:7 ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat’. At the end of the plagues in the book of Exodus, the Israelites were told to kill an unblemished lamb and put the blood of it on their doorposts, so that the angel of death would literally pass over the houses and spare them from death. This is where we get the word ‘Passover` from. Once again, the colour has two meanings: death, because the lamb shed its blood, but also redemption because it spared those who had it on their doorposts.
All of this culminates within the blood of Jesus. Passover, ultimately, was a foreshadow of a greater one to come. Instead of a lamb, Jesus shed His blood for the world. And, ‘whosever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16). It’s our sin that Jesus had to die for, and He willingly paid the price so that all can have access to the Father through Him, as long as they accept it. Jesus, when talking to His disciples about communion, said ‘for this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remissions of sins’ (Matthew 26:28). The price for sin can only be paid through the shedding of blood; the Old Testament made that very clear.
So, what has all this to do with the title ‘God’s spectacles?’ The answer is in how God views our sins. He sees them through the spectacles of the blood of His one and only Son. The amazing fact is that, if red is viewed through a red filter, it becomes white. As a child of God, if you truly repent of your sins (no matter how awful), then the blood of Jesus filters them out and the Father sees you as white as snow – totally and utterly cleansed and acceptable in His sight.
Prayer: Oh Father, I know I’ve done many things that I’m far from proud of. I still find it difficult to believe that some of them can be forgiven today. But Your word tells me that I can be cleansed completely through the blood of Jesus, Your precious Son. So right now I turn to You and repent for … (be specific), and ask Your forgiveness. I choose to receive Your forgiveness. Your Word tells me that instantly, right now, You see me as totally clean from all trace of that sin. Hallelujah! Thank You, Lord! Amen.