Gambling at Calvary

“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.” (Psalm 22:18)

The 22nd Psalm is justly famous as a remarkable prophetic preview of the sufferings and death of the Lord Jesus on the cross, written by David approximately 1,000 years before it was fulfilled. It describes in accurate detail the sufferings of the Lord and the actions of the sneering spectators as they watched Him die.

One of the most heartless acts of the Roman soldiers carrying out the crucifixion was the indignity of stripping Him of the garments He was wearing and then dividing them among themselves, even gambling to determine who would get His seamless vesture. The significance of this cruel scene is indicated by the fact that it is one of the very few specific events in the life of Christ recorded in all four Gospels.

We must not forget that the Lord Jesus Christ once had been arrayed, as it were, in beautiful garments that “smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces” (Psalm 45:8). But He who was “equal with God” chose to be “made in the likeness of men” that He might eventually suffer “even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8) in order to save our unworthy souls. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

He who had created the heavens, when He came to Earth, had to say that “the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). And His few remaining possessions were scavenged by His executioners as He died. Yet through His great sacrifice, He has provided “everlasting habitations” for us (Luke 16:9) and “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). Indeed, we do know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! HMM

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