When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
“They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.”
So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
John 19:23-25 ESV Read More
This is another one of those sections that can become so regular and plain that we read right past it without noticing details. Jesus is still alive on the cross. He is alive enough that in the next sentence, He’s going to be talking people about very practical things to do after He dies. As Jesus watches, men divide up His clothes to keep. When they get to His tunic, they see that it is a little nicer than the typical robber-wear and mutually agree to not tear it up and divide it but to basically throw dice and see who gets to keep it.
They decide to throw dice to see who gets to keep Jesus’ shirt. How many of those 4 men crossed their fingers, or blew on the dice, or called on their gods, so that they would win this dying criminal’s shirt? The oomph here is that these men cared more about an article of clothing than they cared about the Son of God. They cared more about who got the tunic without a rip or a seam than they cared about ripping apart the Savior of the world.
Jesus’ whole death was as insulting and degrading as it could be. Even to the last moments, He was mocked by soldiers, other prisoners, and priests. He still held back, stayed in control, and submitted to the will of the Father. He knew that submission to God would win out over any kind of revenge or show of power that He could muster. That testimony would even lead one of those very soldiers, just hours later, to declare:
“Surely this was the Son of God”
Jesus knew what He was doing. It wasn’t a weakness, it was obedience and faithfulness.