We can powder ourselves, but we’re really just powdering death.
Jesus’ illustration was applicable to that day. Literally. Some of those in the crowd could have been out to the tombs to wash and powder them earlier in the day. Passover was coming and to impress all the travelers coming into Jerusalem, they would wash and powder the tombs.
Well, really, the tombs were still the tombs, no matter how impressive they look. Even today, we dress up our cemeteries so they don’t look like something off of Tales from the Crypt. No matter how we decorate a cemetery, they are still tombs full of bones and death.
And we can do the same thing in our life. Come to church. Read the Bible. Pray. Memorize scripture. Stay clear of certain things that aren’t sin, to make sure people look at us in a good light. Stand tall on legal issues.
All so we can look good, but we’ve never dealt with the real issue.
The real issue is the dry bones on the inside.
Jesus wants the religious to know that he wants them to look good. But they must do it with him cleansing them from the inside out.
Don’t play religious games. They’re too costly for your life. They’re too costly for those around you who can smell the stink, even though you may have applied powder.
Calling out to Jesus is the only way to find real goodness.
Losing My Religion is a sermon series about being free from religious superiority. Read along with us in Galatians and Matthew 23 with our Reading Plan. Today’s reading is from Matthew 23:27-28.