23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
May these words spoken by our dying Lord Jesus find a place in our hearts. John says: behold with what love God has called us that we should be called the children of God.
We read in the first verses of our text very specific detail about Jesus’ clothes. Why does the Bible spend time on these details? It is because the Holy Spirit wanted to emphasize what had been prophesied of old that they “cast lots over His garments.”
The Scripture is infallible to the last iota. It had been prophesied of old that they would divide His clothing and cast lots for His garment.
Everything in the Word of God is going to go into fulfillment. In Jesus all the Sciptures are fulfilled to the last details.
Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away but My Words will never pass away.”
While Jesus was carrying His cross Simon of Cyrene passed by. Some historical references (though not contained in Scripture) are made about Simon. He had two sons, Alexander and Rufus. It is interesting that God mentions their names and afterwards we read of people by the same names being members of the church who were honest and upright and followed the Lord with all their heart. There was blessing for Simon for carrying the cross and this was passed on to his two sons.
As this man from Africa was inquisitively looking at the scene of Jesus stumbling under the weight of the cross, the Roman soldiers comandeered him into carrying it with Jesus. Why did they choose Simon from Africa? The Bible is silent about it. We are unsure about the specifics but we do know that he was not from that crowd who hated Jesus and cried for His Blood. We know that Jesus was already very weak from the trial, mockings, beatings, scourging etc.
Child of God take courage when you carry the cross and identify with Jesus and suffer for His sake, for you will be eternally blessed for it. You can identify with Jesus and His cross and you and your offspring will participate in the blessing.
When your household falls apart, and things are going drastically wrong, then examine your relationship to the cross and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Not everyone condemned Jesus; there were the few who were willing to be identified with Him.
Some of them were women who were deeply moved and wept tears when they saw the Son of man suffering. Jesus turned to them said, “women of Jerusalem do not cry for Me but for you and your children.”
You too may be moved to tears but it still doesn’t bring a lasting change in your life. Such tears are worthless.
Tears of sympathy for Jesus does not touch God and they will not save you. The Lord is saying “do not cry for Me but for yourself and your offspring”. Only if you weep for yourself and your children in true repentance will you receive mercy.
Have you experienced true godly sorrow where you see your own sin and turn from it?
Jesus was placed between the two criminals to emphasize that He was the more wicked one. Indeed, it was factually true because He carried your and my sin and the sin of the whole world.
Has it dawned upon you that heaven spat Him out and rejected Him; His Father rejected Him while He was carrying your wickedness to such an extent that He cried out, “My God My God why hast Thou forsaken Me?”
He was cursed for you and me for “cursed is the one who dies on a tree”.
Do you realise that those pet sins of yours were carried by Jesus and yet you treat them so lightly!
Are you faithful to the commands of Jesus Christ? Jesus said to John “behold your mother” and to Mary “behold your son”. So He gave her to John to look after, for His brothers did not yet believe in Him.
Some accounts of Christian history have it that John looked after Mary untill she died 15 years later and then only did he go out to preach the Gospel. He was faithful to Jesus’ commands to him and outlived all the other disciples.