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The Message of the Cross (14) God’s Providence Found in Jesus’ Clothing

Manmin News   No. 672
1777
June 21, 2020


“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be’; this was to fulfill the Scripture: ‘They divided My outer garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots’” (John 19:23-24).


Jesus who is the Son of God came into this world, endured severe persecutions, and was crucified. Why was Jesus humiliated to the point of being stripped naked in public, and what is God’s providence that is found in Jesus’ outer garments and tunic?


1. Jesus Endured the Shame of Being Stripped Naked

Jesus bore the wooden cross on which He was to be crucified on His back all the way to Golgotha. When He reached the place of His execution, the soldiers took away Jesus’ outer garments and tunic and He was hung on the cross stark naked. It was to fulfill the Scripture in Psalm 22:18 that reads, “They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” The reason we find such a detailed description of Jesus’ clothing in the Bible is because His clothes symbolize the history of Israel.

Jesus, the only begotten Son of God the Most High, was forced to endure the humiliation of being stripped bare before the mere lowly creatures. For what reason was Jesus subjected to such humiliation? On our behalf Jesus endured the humiliation and shame we were to suffer. The sinless Jesus was subjected to the ridicule and contempt that were to be, and should have been, subjected to which was inflicted only upon the sinners.

Filthier than any filth and more dishonorable than all dishonors is sin. As many people today are living amongst this sin, they are also increasingly growing numb to it. However, just as the light exposes the things of darkness, when the Word of God, who is Light itself, shines upon our heart, all the shameful sins within us are exposed. People who had been drenched in the filth of this world and living in sin cannot dare to keep a straight face as their despicable hearts and deeds, with which they will stand before God’s judgment, are made known in full.

Yet, Jesus redeemed us from our sins and endured for us the humiliation and indignity on our behalf. And, anyone who believes this can be free from the shame. Therefore, each of us must be grateful for the love of the Lord with all our heart and be ready to embrace Him by swiftly accomplishing perfect sanctification.


2. God’s Providence in Soldiers’ Dividing of Jesus’ Outer Garments

The outer garments of Jesus spiritually represent the nation of Israel and its people. When His outer garments were split into four pieces, the form of the garments disappeared and the only remnants were pieces of cloth. This signifies how Israel was to be destroyed. Just as pieces of cloth were the only remnants of Jesus’ outer garments, this indicates how only “the people of Israel” would remain.

This is why the Roman soldiers’ dividing of Jesus’ outer garments symbolizes how the nation of Israel was to be destroyed by the Romans, and their splitting the garments into four pieces signifies how the people of Israel would be dispersed into four directions?north, south, east, and west.

Jesus’ prophecy concerning the city of Jerusalem is found in Luke 19:43-44: “For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

Precisely according to the prophecy, in 70 A.D. the Roman general Titus brought about the complete destruction of the city of Jerusalem. Just as Jesus had said “They will not leave in you one stone upon another,” Jerusalem was demolished to the ground. During the siege of the city, more than a million Jews were massacred and those who survived the siege and the massacre were dispersed into all directions and subsequently subject to all kinds of persecutions of the Gentiles.

The most atrocious event that has befallen Jews was a systematic massacre implemented by the Nazi regime during World War II. Over six million were killed stark naked only because they were Jewish. Such a vast number of people were killed as one of the curses because their forefathers had put Jesus to death, who had come to this world as their King.

The Jews were persistent in asking for Jesus’ death and they said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25), and thus they received retribution for their demands, and they lived through a brutal history. All this was symbolized in the Roman soldiers’ dividing Jesus’ outer garments into four parts.


3. God’s Providence in the Soldiers’ Casting Lots for Jesus’ Tunic

Jesus’ tunic was “seamless”?which means that the garment was not sewn together?but “woven in one piece.”

Here, the “tunic” refers to the heart of man. The tunic of Jesus, the king of Israel, symbolizes the heart of Israel’s posterity and represents their faith in God.

The founder of the Israelites, God’s Elect, is Jacob. God personally changed Jacob’s name to “Israel” and formed the twelve tribes of Israel from the twelve sons of Jacob. For a long time, the Israelites were a homogenous people, not intermarrying with men and women of other nations, and they served the only God.

Then during the reign of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, a civil war in Israel split the country into Israel in the north and Judah in the south. People of Israel in the north soon began marrying the Gentiles and they lost the integrity of a homogenous nation. Only the people of Judah in the south became the true descendants of Israel as they remained racially homogenous. For this reason to this day, Israel’s descendants are referred to as “the people of Judah,” or Jews.

Just as Jesus’ tunic was woven in one piece, Jews had long remained a homogenous people, beginning with their forefather Jacob. This is why the Roman soldiers did not tear Jesus’ tunic and this spiritually symbolizes how the heart of the Jewish people toward their God can neither be divided nor destroyed by man. Rome failed to wipe out the faith of the people of Israel.

Even after the fall of Jerusalem and despite hardship and suffering in all corners of the earth for almost two millennia, the Jews did not lose or forsake their identity and finally on May 14, 1948, they returned to the land of their forefathers and an independent, sovereign nation was established. Thus the prophecy in Ezekiel 38:8-9 was accomplished. What other race on the earth has held fast to their national identity, has been kept safe by their faith, and has had their statehood as a nation restored around 1,900 years after destruction?

The heart and the faith which the people of Israel inherited from their forefather Jacob was that firm, and it is the preservation of Jesus’ tunic that foretold the unfolding of such history.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, everything recorded in the Bible from the fall of Jerusalem and the suffering of the Jews to the destruction and restoration of Israel, has been fulfilled. Things that have yet come to pass are the events that are to take place in the coming days, one of which is the return of our Lord in the near future to take us to Heaven. I pray in the name of the Lord that you will keep watching and praying, quickly complete your adornment as the Lord’s brides, and welcome the Lord who will come again to take us.


 

 

 
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