What Did They Believe

Why do you believe what you believe?  There are, of necessity, reasons to consider.


John 19:23 – Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments…..


The general mindset of people really hasn’t changed over the centuries, and even the millennia.  Our possessions and life’s amenities may make it seem so, but in truth, general attitudes are still much the same.  When we truly think about the scenes of the crucifixion of Jesus, one must ask, “Why did the soldiers who crucified Jesus want His clothes?”  Think about that.  His clothes were surely blood-stained, and likely after the treatment He had endured, having His clothes stripped from Him, put back on Him, and stripped again, tattered, and certainly filthy with the mixture of blood, sweat, and dirt where He had fallen, and through which He had surely been drug.  Can you imagine the stench of the filth that surrounded Him in these tormenting hours?  I realize such thinking is not the usual trend when considering the crucifixion, but still the question remains.  What was the belief of the soldiers who crucified Jesus that provoked them to such actions?

In today’s world, such actions are still common, though the scene may be different.  How may baseball caps, or basketball or football jerseys of famous players are stored in private collections?  What price would they demand in a public auction?  Think of it – a sweaty, dirty, possibly stained article of clothing worn by someone who was a “superstar” athlete.  It is amazing what people will do when they are impressed.  And think of this, the costliest of such garments are NOT the ones a player wore when he was already famous, but the ones preserved from before great fame was achieved.  Don’t misunderstand me; Jesus was certainly known among those who crucified Him, but not by the whole world.  For such articles to be preserved, SOMEONE believed they would one day be much more famous, and that something they word would be of great value.

Could that be the reason the soldiers divided Jesus’ clothes as they did?  I can’t say that for sure, but I have considered the question deeply.  And one more thought here.  When a Roman centurion, who had no doubt viewed the entire crucifixion, upon witnessing Jesus’ death, said, “Truly this man was the Son of God,” how impactful was that day?  And when others came to break His legs, but found Him already dead, a roman soldier said, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”  Think on that, and allow me to ask the question once more.  What did those Roman soldiers believe?  Surely there was something that happened on Golgotha that day that was so powerful, so breath-taking, so staggering, that even foul-mouthed, crude-minded, and even more cruelly acting Roman soldiers would divide such blood-stained garments with all their ground-in filth of the last hours of Jesus’ life before the crucifixion.  Just a thought. 

Manna for Today – John 19:16-27; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47