Weekly Devotion – John 19:23

Published 10:12 am Saturday, October 1, 2022

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By Mike Caton

John 19:23, “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.”

Most of the criminals who were condemned to crucifixion didn’t have much. This would be especially true if they had been held in prison for any length of time, you were responsible for your own care, food and so forth in prison. But Jesus, on the other hand, was arrested and taken straight to the judge and condemned. But Jesus also had nothing, he once said he didn’t even have a place to lay his head. And besides that, Judas was the keeper of the moneybag. So all Jesus had were the clothes on his back.

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It was the custom for the soldiers who performed the crucifixion to take and divide up whatever the condemned had. It would be much like soldiers stripping the dead and taking whatever spoils they could find after a battle. Remember crucifixions were usually performed while the condemned was naked, simply another way to humiliate them and intimidate others. And to be honest, the clothes of those being crucified were nothing special, probably they would be good for nothing more than rags to clean your armor or sword with. But once in a while you might find something good. So, for the usual fare, the clothes were divided into ever how many piles for the guys who had performed the crucifixion. But Jesus did have something special. His undergarment, or tunic as we talked about recently in church, was one piece, woven from top to bottom. This made it special and even a little unique, most of them were sown together from pieces. So, this was a large piece of seamless cloth. And while not a royal robe, it was something worth not tearing up.

This makes me think about what we have now and how valuable it really is. But regardless of what we have, we are going to leave it behind. It is highly unlikely that any of us will be crucified, but we all will eventually come to the end of our lives and we will leave not only this earth but all we have behind. Therefore, we should enjoy the things we have now. Buy the nice shirt, enjoy the piece of cake, take the time to spend with your family, life is short and one day it will be over. I also think about the things we leave behind and what will happen to them. But most important is to live our lives knowing they are short, knowing that one day we will leave here and we must be prepared for what is beyond this life. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 7:31 not to become engrossed in the things of this world, they are passing away.

Father, help me realize what is important. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works full time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.