Woe to the Stench of Death: Matthew 23:27-28
““27) 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. 28) So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” Matthew‬ ‭23‬:‭27‬-‭28‬ ‭
Jesus now becomes extremely graphic about the inner moral decay of the Pharisees and religious leaders. He compares them to magnificent and ornate sepulchers that were carved and painted outwardly to appear beautiful, but when opened up were full of decaying bones and rotting flesh. This description could not be more graphic.
The pugnacious nature of this comparison can be illustrated by John 11:39 when Jesus ordered them to remove the stone from the tomb of Lazarus; “… Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” It was unimaginable. Death stinks.
But this was exactly what Jesus was saying about the scribes and Pharisees in this seventh woe. Outwardly they looked magnificent, but inwardly they were putrid and decaying. They pretend to be righteous, but inwardly were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
This picture of religion is the opposite of what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ produces. The Holy Spirit imparts inward life and not death to the born-again believer.
Listen to how Paul described the believer in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16; “14) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15) For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16) to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” Paul compared Christians to an aroma of life. Jesus compared the Pharisees and scribes to an aroma of death. They were the stench of death!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global ‭‭