Matthew 23:27-28. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and inquity.”
Don’t they look clean, white, pristine? But if you know what’s inside, you don’t want anything to do with these graves, full of the bones and rotting flesh of the dead. They are tightly sealed so that the stench doesn’t escape, and they are kept “whited” on the outside to conceal the corruption within.
When my dad was a preteen boy, he lived with his family in a dugout on the Utah desert. He remembered his mother regularly using whitewash on the dirt walls and the ceiling of their home to keep the dirt from constantly falling, to keep the bug/spider population under control, to give a lighter look to their underground cave. Just to keep the place as sanitary as she could.
In Israel, tombs were whitewashed a month before the passover to warn all persons about contacting uncleanness; they stayed all the way away from these gravesites so there would be no hint of contamination during the passover season.
And now, Jesus had told the religious authorities of His day that they were just like those gravesites: Beautifully whitewashed on the outside, but full of corruption and the stench of death on the inside.
Outrageous! Unacceptable! This Man would have to be eliminated–and soon!