with comments by Pastor Chuck Smith
In Jesus' day, there were many theories as to who He really was, with some saying John the Baptist, others suggesting Elijah, Jeremiah, or some other prophet. But the crucial question Jesus asked to His disciples was, "But who do you say that I am?"
Peter was commended for his great answer, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." He recognized Jesus as the Messiah (the anointed One) and as the Son of God (making Him equal with God).
In those days, under the Law, a Jew could not touch a dead body. So there were these rock-hewn sepulchers all over the countryside. Over the years, some of them became hal hidden or burried. So it was possible to inadvertently stumble across a sepulcher. If you touched it, you would have to go through purification rites before you could enter the temple because you would be considered unclean. You'd have touched something that was touching a dead body. To protect people from touching the sepulchers, the Jews would paint these tombs with whitewash so they would stand out.
Concerning the Pharisees, Jesus said they were whitewashed toumbs, meaning they appeared nice on the outside, all white and painted; but on the inside, Jesus said, they were "full of dead men's bones" (Matt 23:27). So Paul Picked up this use of the term from the Lord, and he said to the high priest, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!"
When Bezalel made this basin for washing, the laver for the washing of the priests before they would go into the tent itself, they made the laver of bronze, and its bas of bronze from the bronze mirrors of the serving women. So the women brought their mirrors. Now when you get women to give up their mirrors, you've really got women whose hearts have been stirred!