The Law of Moses said that if anyone touched a grave in any way they were deemed ‘unclean’. The Pharisees would white wash tombs so that people could see them and not go anywhere near them. These tombs were beautifully ornate. Jesus uses the image in his continued warnings to the religious leaders:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” (Matthew 23 v 27-28)
Every year in Britain women will spend on average £400 on cosmetics and they own 24 products. 48% of women take 15-30 minutes fixing their face in the morning with lipstick, foundation and mascara the most favourite products of which they own 24 of them at any one time. Men are actually on the rise in looking after their skin with £33.1 million spent each year on moisturiser. Looking good costs. However, in England alone 1 in 6 people will be battling mental health problems such as anxiety and depression in any one week, the pandemic has certainly heightened people’s anger. No amount of cosmetics can deal with the issues of the heart.
Walking through a cemetery and viewing the headstones, the family emblems and flowers laid it is obvious that each family are making a statement about their loved one. Yet for each family there is a story of pain and behind it all death and decay.
Jesus warns the religious leaders saying they are masking what is on the inside of their hearts. He looked very much like a Pharisee. He would talk about the Old Testament Prophets just like they did. He obeyed and taught the Law of Moses just like they did. However there was a huge difference. They were not the same.
What is that person like behind the make-up? This is the question and Jesus knows.