The prophet Isaiah, the one who talked most about how the Messiah that had to come would be, mentions the restorer and transformer power of God in one of the most well-known passages of the Bible: “Though your sins have stained you like the color red (cochineal), you can become white like snow; though they are as easy to see as the color scarlet, you can become white like wool”.1 But what is the cochineal? Apart from being a color of a vivid reddish purple tonality, it is a dye, a coloring powder that results of the crushing of the dry bodies of different animals, as a cochineal insect or kermes, and that dyes fabrics permanently. Before knowing artificial dyes, colors depended on natural sources. Scarlet was obtained through the crushing of the cochineal, a red insect that Eastern people called “scarlet worm”. The red color of the cochineal is also known as crimson, carmine or scarlet.
On the Bible, there is an enormous quantity of texts which mention weaves dyed with that dye, and which after that take the name of the color.2 In the same way, sin dyes or stains our lives, moving us away from God and, therefore, of the good and life. But that has a solution, and it can be found on what God can and wants do for us. God invites us to change, to improve, to learn to do good.3 It could be or seem impossible to us4, but God has all the power and he is at our disposal.5 He can do for us what we cannot do by our own. Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”.6 If we accept his promise and abandon our sins, he is ready and prepared to clean us for any injustice. He will give us a pure heart7 and the permanent presence of his Spirit, for Jesus lives to intercede for us.8