When seeing snow, one may be reminded of what the New Testament says about the transfiguration of Christ. We are told that the Lord went up on a mountain with His three closest disciples, and He was transfigured before them. The description of His glorious appearance in Mark 9 is given in the NKJV words, “His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” There is a variant in the text which causes us to question whether the phrase “like snow” was original (the Majority Text includes the phrase while the Critical Text does not), but I think we get the point. The Lord’s appearance was bright and white, and there are very few words in any human language to describe the sight and just how bright/white His appearance really was that day. Snow is a great example of the combination of brightness and whiteness. This is part of the majesty of snow. On a snow covered day, one can see the great reflection of the brightness of the sun and there seems to be nothing whiter. There is no question that this manifestation was meant to show Christ’s glory and holiness in the sight of those three men. How did they react? When they saw Christ transfigured and heard the voice of confirmation from heaven, Matthew 17 says the men fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. As Christians, do we really consider the glory and holiness of God and respond properly? I think that if we truly do meditate on His purity, we will be knocked-off-our-feet. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough of those kind of moments. A snow day may offer just one of those special instances.
Also, we may mention that the description of Christ in Revelation 1 is significant. The One who declared Himself, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. . .” is the same One whom John described as,
“like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.”
When Jesus is seen in all of His glory, the brightness is so great that people can only fall on the ground as dead. His brilliance is humbling. There is no question of the phrase, “as white as snow” in this passage. Christ is pictured as the Alpha and Omega, the King of kinds, and Lord of lords whose head and hair are as white as snow. As many commentators point out, this is not supposed to be taken as a literal description of Christ, but as a full picture which metaphorically is saying something about the Lord. In Daniel 7, the Ancient of Days, God Himself, is referred to as having a garment as white as snow. The Apostle, following a trend in the New Testament of using Old Testament references to God in referring to the Lord Jesus, uses the description of the Ancient of Days in Daniel to depict the risen and exalted Christ in the latter days. This trend constantly reinforces the interrelationship of the Father and Son, their unique harmony. As one author says (Osborne), white hair in ancient cultures (and somewhat today) is a symbol of dignity and wisdom. The same author goes on to say that there was no better way to refer to pure and brilliant whiteness in the ancient world than using the ideas of snow and wool. Will Jesus have a head full of white hair in heaven? That is not what the word-picture is trying to communicate. What meaning do these biblical references convey of the Triune God being clothed in garments and having hair as white as snow? What are we to learn and heed from these passages? The primary lesson, or maybe more significantly declaration, is the holiness of God. The illustrations are meant to express the brilliance, righteousness, purity, holiness, glory, wisdom, and more of the One who has overcome the world and conquered all His enemies. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Although He was once veiled in flesh, the disciples got a preview of what it will be like to dwell with Him forever in His fully glorified state. Both Daniel and John got glances of His snow-like glory in visions that they received from heaven, but one day we will all see Him face-to-face. As 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”