We recently completed a Sunday night series called “Prophecies of Christ.” In this series, we looked at dozens of prophecies that were made in the Old Testament regarding the lineage, birth, ministry, life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Messiah. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that series, I’d encourage you to do so now.
The remarkable thing about all of those prophecies is this: they were all fulfilled in Jesus Christ. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. There is simply no argument for any other Messiah. Jesus, and Jesus alone is the only one who could have paid the price for our sins.
Perhaps one of the clearest prophecies about the death of the Messiah is found in Psalm 22:18. Please read that now.
The remarkable thing about this prophecy is that the active agent who executed the fulfillment of the prophecy was not Christ Himself, it was not any of His followers, or even any Jewish people who may have known about this prophecy. This prophecy was acted out by a group of pagan soldiers who had no idea what they were doing!
In John 19, we read: “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” (John 19:23-24).
It was a common practice during crucifixions, for the garments of the executed to become the property of the executioners. Hence, the fulfillment of the prophecy “they divide my garments among them.” Again, you’ll remember that this prophecy was written nearly a millennium before crucifixion was perfected by the Romans, so this is still impressive.
But, once the Romans perfected crucifixion, this practice ensured that nearly any executed criminal would have his garments divided up. The truly unique part of this prophecy is the casting of lots for clothing. This was not usually done. John explains why lots were cast in this case, but it was quite rare.
How clear must have been David’s vision when he penned this prophecy of the Messiah’s death! God truly knows the end from the beginning; He knows all things, even those that have yet to happen.
And He loves us so much that He has given us all things; He has not held anything back. The same Lord who gave His blood so that we might be cleansed, also gave His garments so that we may be robed in white.
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