The color red doesn’t always naturally occur in the things we make. How do you put the vibrant color of an apple into a T-shirt or lipstick? In early times, the red pigment was made from clay or red rocks. In the 1400s, the Aztecs invented a way of using cochineal insects to make red dye. Today, those same tiny insects supply the world with red.
In the Bible, red denotes royalty, and it also signifies sin and shame. Further, it’s the color of blood. When soldiers “stripped [Jesus] and put a scarlet robe on him” (Matthew 27:28), these three symbolisms merged into one heartbreaking image of red: Jesus was ridiculed as would-be royalty, He was cloaked in shame, and He was robed in the color of the blood He would soon shed. But Isaiah’s words foretell the promise of this crimsoned Jesus to deliver us from the red that stains us: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (1:18).
One other thing about those cochineal insects used for red dye—they are actually milky white on the outside. Only when they are crushed do they release their red blood. That little fact echoes for us other words from Isaiah: “[Jesus] was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5).
Jesus, who knew no sin, is here to save us who are red with sin. You see, in His crushing death, Jesus endured a whole lot of red so you could be white as snow.