When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, a part for each soldier. They also took the tunic, which was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it, to see who gets it.” This happened that the Scripture might be fulfilled that says: They divided my clothes among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. This is what the soldiers did.
The Scripture referred to in verse 24 is Psalm 22:18. It reads, “They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.” Psalm 22:18 was written centuries before today’s passage. It was written at a different time and inspired by the Holy Spirit to a different earthly writer, but both Psalm 22:18 and John 19:24 are available today in the same Bible. Though modern Bibles are available in single printed volumes and though Psalms and John share a single book spine now, they are not the same document. The Bible is a compilation of different books all inspired by God for one purpose and that purpose involves you right now as you read.
This is an example of how a Christ-centered lens is the best interpretation of the Old Testament. Though it would rouse my rabbi friends to read this, many of the Psalms were written more directly to New Testament Christians than they were to Old Testament Jews. What would the Book of Hebrews be without the Psalms? When a Psalm so clearly and obviously points to the Messiah, those who have the Messiah better grasp the Psalm. Second Corinthians 1:20 reads, “For every one of God’s promises is ‘Yes’ in him. Therefore, through him we also say ‘Amen’ to the glory of God.” We do not study the Old Testament as though we were a synagogue. We know the Messiah. His name is Jesus. And so we see these prophecies as promises fulfilled.
Applying our lives to John 19:23-24 and how it fulfills Psalm 22:18 may require that we revisit our expectations of the Christian life. Sometimes, it is precisely God’s will that we would suffer.
How do you answer someone accusing you of “circular reasoning” if you use the Bible to prove the Bible, showing an Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in the New Testament?
Pray: Thank God for being faithful to keep His Word; even in small things. Profess to Him your belief in His prophecies because His track record is perfect.