Day 33: Casting Lots

Day 33: Casting Lots

“They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment” (Psalm 22:18).

“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took His clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. ‘Let’s not tear it,’ they said to one another. ‘Let’s decide by lot who will get it.’ This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled…” (John 19:23-24).


It seems it was so important to God that every detail of this day point to His Son as the fulfillment of prophecy, that even the trivial matter of the disposal of His meager earthly possessions would be mentioned with noticeable precision. How astounding that David would write of the casting of lots for His garments and that would be the very thing that happened at the foot of the cross.

Spurgeon tells us that while the division of property by the guards was the common custom, the casting of lots was not normally done. This was an exception to the rule because the garment was woven in one piece, so would be rendered worthless by ripping it into four sections. This garment was called an “undergarment” in the text, but was more of a tunic than what we would think of as “undergarment “ in our vernacular.

The lesson of this aspect of the cross goes well beyond the confirmation that this was, indeed, the Messiah. As Spurgeon puts it, “Trifling as this act of casting the lot for our Lord’s vesture may appear, it is most significant. It contains a double lesson. It teaches us how greatly that seamless shirt was valued; how little He to whom it had belonged. It seemed to say, this garment is more valuable than its owner.”

• It’s easy to look at that last paragraph and judge, but in what ways do our lives show we devalue Christ? In what ways are we distracted by what is going on at the foot of the cross, rather than on the One who died there?
• What do we show that we hold of higher worth than Him, than time with Him, or than obedience to Him?
• As you see the mounting evidence of God’s “Whispers of Redemption” from the Old Testament, what messages are you getting—about His love? His plan? His intentions? His demands on your life?

Lord, You had been clothed in glory, in garments so white they dazzled the eyes of the disciples when You were transfigured, but You set that aside to come to save us. Then even what little You had was stripped from You—for us. Open my eyes to Your matchless worth. Turn me away from the trivial.

by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
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