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The Persecuted Church


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The Worthy example of a Tunic

Matt 27:35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: "They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots."

All four Gospel writers mentioned the four soldiers that were given the responsibility of crucifying Jesus and then divided up His belongings among themselves (Matthew 27:35, 36; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23, 24).

John goes into this event with more detail than the other gospels. John 19:23-24 “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: "They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots."

The only reason this piece of clothing has become controversial is because of what the word faith teachers say about it. The fact that Jesus did not live in opulence and went out of his way to identify with the poor, and had nothing extraordinary as the rich would seems to elude these prosperity preachers. Whatever the garment was worth, it was worn underneath not on the outside for people to see.

The Roman executioners divided among themselves the booty of those who were crucified, this particular piece of clothing was not sown in pieces like the others, its purpose was to fulfill scripture, to prove who He was (as referred to in Ps.22:18). The soldiers noticed the garments beauty and worth compared to everything else he wore. A seamless tunic would be considered rare among those who were crucified and the soldiers desired it. It was probably a long sleeved, full length linen garment and the soldiers didn’t want to destroy it by cutting it into pieces so they cast lots for it.

The soldiers had a right to the clothes and articles of the victims at the time of their execution. He was first stripped where a scarlet robe was placed on him. It was removed after he was mocked by the soldiers. They then put the clothes back on Jesus that he was wearing at the time of His arrest (Mt. 27:31).

Jesus is believed to have four articles of clothing. His outer garments consisted of four pieces of clothing; the outer garment, being composed of several parts fringes, borders. His undergarment was a seamless tunic. It was made by one or more of the women who ministered in such things. Either Mary His mother or the other woman (Lk.8:3) made the tunic for Him. It took the considerable skill to produce this type of a garment. The implication, prophecy would be fulfilled right down to the dividing up of Jesus’ clothes.  The soldiers were able to divide up the four outer garments as each one chose an item even though they were not of equal value. Even if this tunic was more valuable than the other pieces it does not prove he was rich.

The significance of his robe had not gone unnoticed for it is like the tunic of the High Priest. Only John records this detail - presenting Jesus as our High Priest! John refers to the seamless tunic worn by the high priest in the Temple service (Exodus 28:31-32; Exodus 39:27-29). Jesus is the last High Priest who opened the way to enter the presence of God by offering the perfect sacrifice for the sin of the world.

In Josephus, Ant. III. 6, 4. Exodus 28:32. God is telling Moses the design of the priest's garments: and there shall be a hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it.

Josephus (Antiq., b. 3 chapter 8, Section 4) says of the garment or coat of the high priest that "this vesture was not composed of two pieces, nor was it sewed together upon the shoulders and the sides; but it was one long vestment, so woven as to have an aperture for the neck. It was also parted where the hands were to come out." It seems that the Lord Jesus, the great High Priest of his people, had also a coat made in a similar manner. Compare Exodus 39:22. (from Barnes' Notes)

Because this piece was without seams, if cut it would be ruined. So they cast lots for one soldier to have the tunic. Jesus is the word, and as some have pointed out, the Bible is God’s seamless garment to men, from Genesis to Revelation. This particular garment of Jesus that is mentioned at the time of his crucifixion is for a reason, to show the world that God’s Word is accurate and true it is not piecemeal but seamless; He fulfilled over 30 Scriptures in that one day; it is one perfect story – HIStory.

John 19:23 speaks of the garment, "From the top woven throughout,” the Greek word for top is anothen. The same word (from the top) is found in John 3:7, "You must be born again." Strong’s: Gr- anothen- from above, from a higher place; used of things which come from heaven or God. Same word Jesus used to describe himself in John 3:31 “He who comes from above is above all.” To understand who He is we must be born from the same.

The word “woven” is huphantos -knitted: and the word “throughout” is holos is a primary word; "whole" or "all", i.e. complete.

In three languages it spoke of the title of him being King, the one who came from heaven. As Jesus spoke in

John 5:39 the Scripture (all 66 books) testify of Him. They are God’s seamless revelation from beginning to the end From the top (above) woven throughout.

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