24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
– Mark 15:24
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
– Galatians 3:26-27
Casting Lots for The Clothing of Christ, or Being Clothed With Christ by God?
Continuing the pattern I’ve spoken of elsewhere (here, here and here), Mark 15 contains three references to the clothing with which Jesus is clothed. They are as follows:
A. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
B. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.
C. 46 Then he [Joseph of Arimathea] bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
This is more than just a nice way to structure a narrative, for what is remarkable about this triplet is how it follows the Lord’s life in that:
A. The King of Glory became a man.
B. As a man, He suffered for our transgressions.
C. But He was once again clothed in glory, fine white attire, after defeating sin, death, and the grave.
The Holy Spirit’s communication to us is clear: What is key about this chapter is what Christ has done for us who believe. He has become sin for us that we might becomes the righteousness of God in Him. And yet, in this passage we see something else equally profound. Those who would mock the Lord Jesus would also seek to clothe themselves with Him, violently and superstitiously attempting to grasp at the garments of Christ, seeking nothing but a temporal covering of their dying bodies as Adam and Eve sewed garments of fig leaves in an attempt to conceal their rebellion and nakedness, where we read:
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings (Gen. 3:1-7 gives the entire account).
Is this the key difference between true followers of Christ and the false? That God has determined to cover the true in the righteousness of Christ, while the false arrogantly attempt to cover themselves in the clothing of Christ that they have stripped Him of as they’ve mocked Him and reject Him as their King? Perhaps. Those who have been chosen in Christ, have been so chosen to be covered with the righteousness of the slain Lamb of God (who ever lives), just as Adam and Eve were freely covered by the garments of skin that God in His mercy and grace had provided for them after they had sinned against Him. Therefore, we read:
Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them (Gen. 3:21)
As Judas betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver, so these men mock the King of kings and crucify Him again for the sake of being clothed with whatever is then left over. I think of the modern prophet-eers of TBN (Rick Joyner, Benny Hinn, Rodney Howard Browne, etc etc, the postmodern mystics, the postmodern inclusivists/syncretists, and the age old cults that have survived in Oneness Pentecostalism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, etc.
These cast lots to determine who will profit off of our Lord and Savior – but we who have been chosen before time began (cf. 2 Timothy 1:8-10) have been chosen to wear not the physical remains of our Lord’s attire, but His eternally undefiled, spotless, unmatched righteousness.
And that, although not enough for Judas and these scornful soldiers, should be enough for us.