whitewashed christianity
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Whitewashed Christianity

I walked into church Easter morning feeling more like a whitewashed tomb than a temple of the Living God.

Have you ever felt like that?

Pretty on the outside, but just full of junk on the inside?

It seems like the older I get, the less I enjoy holidays. Going to church on Sunday is just what we do. It felt pretty normal. Sure, we ate breakfast with our church family, and the kids had an egg hunt. Our pastor preached about the resurrection. But all in all, it felt like a pretty normal day.

Which made me feel even worse on the inside.

Does Easter ever feel like just another day? If so, it's not just you… Share on X

I looked around and saw all the people in their beautiful Easter clothes and wondered how many felt the same way I did. I wondered if I was the only one who had failed to stand in awe and celebrate deep within my soul.

This was the day we celebrated the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus died for our sins, but He didn’t stop there. He rose to give us new life.

And yet, my mind was a million different places.

Have you ever felt more like a whitewahsed tomb than a temple of the living God?

I believe the message of Easter to the very core of my being, but sometimes life is hard. It weighs on me. I let the stress of it pollute my soul.

But that’s why I am so thankful for the message of Easter.

The Message of Easter

Even while I was sitting in church feeling like a whitewashed tomb, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the only tomb that really matters is the tomb of Jesus. And while my tomb might be full of decay, His was found empty.

Jesus died because He knew we would never be perfect. He died because He knew we could never live a life free from sin. Because the wages of sin is death, He died because He knew we would need a Savior.

And then He rose.

He rose so we could live. So we could be free from the chains of sin. So that we could have a life full of hope.

Jesus died and rose for us. For me and for you.

Related Post: What Good Friday Means To Me

His death and resurrection aren’t dependent on our feelings, they are unchanging facts. He is a rock that isn’t swayed when we have bad days. When we get stressed out, He remains the same.

That’s the message I needed reminded of Easter morning.

Easter isn't a feeling, it's a fact.

I needed reminded that even when I’m feeling whitewashed, the truth of the gospel doesn’t change.

Whitewashed Christianity

Christians aren’t perfect. I tend to be brutally honest about my failures because I don’t want to be whitewashed. I don’t want someone to look at me and think I have it all together, because the truth of it is that I get through most days each day by the grace of God.

While I might manage to dress up in high heels and make it to church on time (sometimes), those things aren’t what make me a Christian. We can’t put on a “good Christian” mask or slip on “Christianity shoes” and be okay. True Christianity comes from the cross.

Jesus died and rose for us - His death and resurrection aren't dependent on our feelings, they are unchanging facts. #GiveMeJesus

Romans 10:9 (ESV) says, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

That’s what Christianity is about. It’s not about having a good day every day. It’s not about celebrating Easter on a certain day in a specific way. Christianity isn’t about wearing the right clothes, saying the right words, or doing the right things. It’s about Jesus.

One Important Difference

I guess I’m learning that the world is full of whitewashed Christians. But they are firmly separated into two different groups. Those that look like Christians on the outside, but have hearts that are far from Jesus. And those who look like Christians on the outside, but are still dealing with a bunch of junk on the inside, even though they are head over heels in love with Jesus.

One type of whitewashed Christianity will lead to Hell, the other is probably more common than we know. Both types of Christians need Jesus, whether they realize it or not.

So while I didn’t “feel” like I celebrated Easter well this year, I can rest well knowing the gospel remains the same. My feelings don’t dictate reality.

He is risen.

Do you ever feel more like a whitewashed tomb than a temple of the living God? Share on X

*Originally posted April 17th, 2017

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This post is an edited excerpt from An Easter Devotional by Heather Hart, Valerie Riese, and Jessica Schneider. For more encouragement for the Easter season, pick up your copy from Amazon.com.


  1. I know what you mean Heather! I had a really bad day on Saturday and on Sunday it was very hard to focus on what the day was all about. But God is so faithful. He knows our frame and knows our struggles and doubts. We don’t have to pretend with Him. He already gets us! Thanks for being honest. It always helps to know we are not alone.

  2. Oh my, Heather, this is just how I’ve been feeling! I tried writing about it last week, but decided it was more for me to process, than to post. I wasn’t feeling Easter-y, like the ads for new spring dresses and shoes portray. But feeling Easter-y in the empty tomb way is what matters. Not sure I’m successfully getting my thoughts into words here, but love your post! Thank you for sharing!

  3. I love what you said about honesty and people thinking more than what is the reality! But the beauty is that no one has it all together and we all have to survive on the grace of Jesus! Great post!

  4. How honest. Thanks. “Easter isn’t a feeling; it’s a fact.” Too many times I get caught up in the harriedness of the day and overlook the importance of it. Like Christmas, it becomes a do-to list and not a true celebration. I kind of felt the same way this year. We moved Easter week, 3 of our kids weren’t home. It didn’t feel “Eastery.” I, too, am thankful my feelings don’t dictate reality.

  5. I am so grateful that even on the tough days we can just be. I was worried because my son was ina funk and my husband in pain but really we were all together at church for the first time in a long time and perhaps a seed was planted that day

  6. Heather, thank you for being bold enough to preach this message! It reminds me of the book Not A Fan. So many people think Christianity is following a set of rituals, like you mentioned above, when the Bible tells us it means our death and–through Christ–our resurrection. Easter is SO full of powerful reminders, and it’s encouraging to be reminded that it is not a light thing. I found you on the Women 2 Women linkup! 🙂

    1. Yes! I think we need to be broken to remember the importance of the gospel. If we start to think we have it all together, we’ll start to think we can do it all on our own.

  7. Heather, your question about being more a whitewashed tomb than a temple of the Living God really struck home with me. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple and removed the money changers, so I need to do the same. I need to make a place for my God to inhabit if I want to know Him personally. I want Him to have a place that is clean, yet it is He who does the cleaning. It is I who must submit to the process. Thank you for a word picture I can hang on to.

  8. It’s so easy to feel this way, isn’t it Heather? I’ve been in church and looked around me wondering how these people were feeling so much when I felt nothing. I understood. I believed. But church had become another thing on my to-do list (and Lord knows I didn’t need one more thing on that list!)

    I don’t have a neat, pretty answer to this one. I think telling God those feelings and just pressing in anyway. Waiting for the feelings to catch up. Telling God how much I need Him to meet me in that place. And sometimes it’s over and over again.

    So glad to share hearts here <3

    1. Thanks, Becky. Sometimes it helps just knowing we aren’t alone. That, and remembering that facts are more important than feelings. Feelings come and go, but what Jesus did for us is eternal.

  9. I’ve had people tell me that “I have it all together” – and it’s not that I am trying to portray that facade at all – but I think that this is just another reason why we need to share our stories of faith with others. Then they can see what we’ve been through to get where we are. And that we should not just assume things about people…
    Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth – always a joy to read your content.

    1. I actually hear that comment from people more often than you would think, and it’s funny, because I don’t feel like that at all. But it’s definetly a good way to point people to Jesus. Thanks for stopping in, Aimee – love your link up!

  10. Remembering the messages of the scriptures really does offer a lot of perspective during these vulnerable moments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  11. All of us have moments like that, I think – but what’s important is that we need to be aware of them

  12. It is such an awesome reminder that no matter what I am dealing or struggling with, the gospel doesn’t change! Jesus is, was, and always will be our Lord and Savior!

  13. He is risen, indeed! I love this Heather. Right now my husband and I are not even attending a church regularly. You are so right, life is hard and often it beats us down, over and over, but Jesus is still the same, yesterday, today and forever and that is what I stand on. That foundation is unmovable and because of that, I maybe be dealing with all my junk on the inside, but I still want to be used by the Master. Thanks so much for this encouraging post. Happy Easter! – Amy

  14. It took me a while to realize how dangerous Pharisees were. But a genuine Christian may make mistakes but they have the humity to ask for forgiveness and seek reconciliation.

  15. After suffering from my heart attack in December and my mom who is dying this year feels so different. I have never been more grateful for the cross and the redemption Christ has given to me, but trust me I have been where you were. Masks can be very effective, but eventually, we have to take them off. It is funny how the enemy always wants you to believe you are the only one who has ever felt this way, so we hesitate in sharing because it makes us vulnerable, but instead, it makes us strong because there is power in numbers and freedom in truth!

  16. I have felt like both at different times in my life. I love Easter, I try each year to celebrate it with humility and reverence, I am who I am and have what I have because of Jesus.

  17. Informative and interesting Blog! Beautifully written, as usual, I like the post. Thank you so much for nice sharing with us. Keep posting!

  18. Thanks for putting into words what has been rattling around in my head.

    “I guess I’m learning that the world is full of whitewashed Christians. But they are firmly separated into two different groups. Those that look like Christians on the outside, but have hearts that are far from Jesus. And those who look like Christians on the outside, but are still dealing with a bunch of junk on the inside, even though they are head over heels in love with Jesus.”

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