The phrase “white as snow” is used 3 times in the New Testament—meaning light, bright, brilliant from whiteness, the (dazzling) white of the garments of angels, and of those exalted to the splendor of the heavenly state, shining or white garments worn on festive or state occasions, and of white garments as the sign of innocence and purity. The word “snow” or “white as snow” is used 21 times in the Old Testament. It is interesting to discover that the Old Testament phrase is used as one Hebrew word.
“He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow” (Psa. 147: 16-18). The book of Job also gives us insight into another facet of God’s working with our weather when he says, “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22). Another time Job states, “If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean…” (Job 9:30), which carries the connotation of purity as do Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18 and Lamentations 4:7.
The book of Daniel uses this phrase another way. “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire” (Dan. 7:9). In this wonderful vision of the everlasting God on His fiery throne of judgment, we find the fascinating phrase “white as snow.” Here the symbol of holiness, pure white, finds its clearest natural expression in the beautiful snow, when it has newly covered the ground.
Twice the phrase “white as snow” is used to describe the cleansing of a guilty sinner. David, after confessing his own sin, prayed: “Have mercy upon me, O God. . . . Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. . . . wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psa. 51:1-2, 7). Then, God promises through His prophet: “Come now, and let us reason together, . . . though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isa. 1:18). The cleansing blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, is the only sacrifice that can turn the guilt of our scarlet sins to snowy white.
When Christ ascended the Mount of Transfiguration, “…his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow” (Mark 9:3), which confirmed to the three disciples that He was the Son of God, even as the voice from heaven had said (Matt. 17:5). At the empty tomb following His resurrection, “the angel of the Lord” also had “raiment white as snow” (Matt. 28:3). Finally, when John saw Christ in His glorified body, he testified that “his head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow” (Rev. 1:14).
It is marvelous that the raiment of the angel of God, the transfigured Christ, and the Ancient of days, as well as the head of Christ in His glory, are all described with the same phrase as the soul of one whose sins are forgiven!
(Pictures from Morgefile.com; text selected and adapted)