Cemeteries have a certain beauty in their own way, don’t they? They are quiet. They have well-manicured grass and beautiful flowers. There are many beautifully carved stone monuments scattered about the grounds. And yet, even though cemeteries are beautiful on the surface, we don’t go there just to enjoy the afternoon or to have a picnic, do we? That’s because we know what lies under the surface.
Jesus made this point when talking about the scribes and Pharisees. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28 NASB) What do we learn from Jesus’ statement? People, even Christians, can be just like a cemetery—beautiful outwardly, but full of death and decay inwardly. The scribes and Pharisees went through the right motions. They read and memorized the scriptures, they faithfully attended worship services, they carefully tithed all that they had, they said all the right things, and yet Jesus told them that they were dead inside! Jesus knew what was under the surface. It was all a veneer. They were just like whitewashed tombs.
You and I need to be careful that we do not fall into this way of living. We need to be careful to surrender our inner lives completely to God. We need to be careful that we’re not just going through the motions so that we appear righteous to others. We can fool people with a coat of whitewash, but we can never fool Jesus. He knows our hearts, and He wants to be Lord of our hearts. If we will surrender our hearts to Jesus, He will make our inner selves radiant and beautiful, and that beauty will flow outwardly into our lives and make us truly beautiful in the eyes of God.
— Scott Colvin
P.S. This is Scott Colvin’s first post on whiletoday.com. Check out his bio under About. I’m glad to have him joining me as a writer for this blog. — Russ Holden