A Whitewashed Tomb

What did Jesus mean when he said the scribes and Pharisees were like a whitewashed tomb? Take a moment and think about what you find inside a tomb – not a vacant one – but an inhabited one. A tomb that’s had a long-time resident. Maybe an image from a horror movie you’ve seen came to mind. With that picture in mind, go back read Matthew 23:27-28 again…

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautify on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity. In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Pretty on the outside; Nasty on the inside

In Bible days, people used caves to bury their dead. If Jesus were here today He might would say that on the outside the scribes and Pharisees were like a well-tended grave with beautiful flowers placed weekly but on the inside they were like the rotting, stinking, decaying body found inside the casket. They were hypocrites. They displayed one thing while in reality was something altogether different.

A picture of righteousness on the outside; pride and sin on the inside

Al Capp, an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li’l Abner, once said: “Abstract art is a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.” The scribes and Pharisees could have been described the same way. They were unprincipled, pious religious leaders forcing rigid legalistic rules on the bewildered people that were never intended by God. They went around in their fancy clothing, praying loudly and openly for all to see how “righteous” they were and yet they didn’t even keep the rigid laws they imposed on everyone else.

Jesus described the scribes and Pharisees as beautiful on the outside, but on the inside they were nothing more than rotting, decaying bones. They painted a good picture of “righteousness” for everyone to see, but their hearts were full of pride and sin. Most of us don’t like people like that, but sometimes we are just as guilty.

God is concerned about what’s on the inside

If we go to church on Sunday and act holy and spiritual, but the rest of week act like the Devil, then we are as much of a hypocrite as the scribes and Pharisees. God isn’t concerned with what other people see on the outside, He interested on what He sees on the inside. He knows what’s really inside and how sincere we are about our worship of Him and our relationship with Him.

In 1 Samuel 16:7, God tells Samuel, “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” We can fool other people, but we can’t fool God. We can dress up in our Sunday finest and play the part, but when we stand before God on judgment day, He will know if our insides are rotting decaying bones or full of the Holy Spirit.

Are you like a whitewashed tomb?

What is the condition of your heart today? Are you like a whitewashed tomb, keeping up appearances or does God see your heart as righteous, cleansed by the blood of Jesus?


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Beloved Collection: This Valentine’s Day, let your spouse know how much you love them. Based on the Bible Verse, Song of Solomon 3:4, the bottom line reads, “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”

I have found the one whom my soul loves: Based on Song of Solomon 3:4 

God’s Plan: God’s design for marriage is one woman, one man Woven into oneness with Christ – this is God’s plan

Greatest Valentine’s: On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love and there’s no greater love than Christ who laid down His life so that we can have eternal life. Includes John 3:16.

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God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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