The Message of the Cross(13) – The Crucifixion 1

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[John 19:23-24] [Isaiah 53: 5- 6]
[John 19:23-24]
“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. [24] “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” So this is what the soldiers did.”

[Isaiah 53: 5- 6]
“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. [6] We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

[Introduction]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the 13th session of the message of the cross, and I will tell you about the providence hidden in Jesus’ outer garment and tunic.

Jesus went through great sufferings and was crucified to redeem the sinners from their sins. When He took the suffering of the cross, He wore the crown of thorns, was whipped, was nailed through His hands and feet, and was pierced in His side.

All these things did not occur as coincidence. Each of these things was done by the providence of God. Jesus was laid in a manger to give the food of life to the mankind who are no different from animals. He led a life in poverty to give us richness.

He was whipped to redeem us from diseases and wore the crown of thorns to forgive our sins that we commit with our thoughts. Likewise, the processes of Jesus’ sufferings were necessary to set us free from the curse caused by the disobedience of Adam and redeem us from our sins.

In this session, I will testify to the providence hidden in Jesus’ clothes and in Jesus’ being nailed through His hands and feet. I hope you will more deeply realize the love of the Lord who with joy took all the sufferings for us.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will become the Lord’s beautiful brides who can give up your life for the Lord.

[Main]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, viewing audiences, Jesus was whipped and wore the crown of thorns, so His face and body was covered with blood, and now, He had to take the heavy cross.
He carried the cross on which He was going to be hung, and went up to the Golgotha. When He arrived, the soldiers took off His clothes.

Today’s scripture from John 19:23-24 says, “When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. [24] “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

When He was hung on the cross, His outer garment and tunic were taken, and He was hung naked.

The one and only Son of God the Almighty had to take the shame of being naked before His lowly creatures. The reason why Jesus took the shame was to take away the shame that we had to receive.

The innocent Jesus took all the despisement, mockery, and contempt that we sinners had to take. If rotten food or the excrement is on your clothes and you smell really bad, can you show up in front of many people?

You will be so ashamed to show yourself in public until you wipe it out. But sin is even dirtier than the garbage or filth on your clothes. When Adam first committed a sin by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he hid himself from God’s face among the trees.

Because he had sin, he felt ashamed before God and tried to hide from God’s face. But since all are living in sins, as the time goes, people are getting number and number about sins.

Even when they commit sins and do evil, they say, “Everybody does it.” Their conscience is getting hardened. Furthermore, it is the last days now, and we are living in a world wickeder than any other time. If the people 30 or 50 years ago see the world of today, they will be so shocked.

The sins that used to be considered so abominable before are happening so often nowadays. It is because these shameful things that were not even imaginable before are so prevalent in today’s world. But no matter how evil the generation becomes, all the shameful sins will be revealed under the light of God’s Word.

When it is dark, we cannot see that the room is very dirty, but when it is lighted brightly, we can clearly see the filthiness of the room. Likewise, if we reflect our heart on the word of God who is light, we can find out our shameful sins in us.

Those who live in sins and evil, being stained by the filth of this world will be so ashamed when they stand at the judgment of God. Their dirty heart and acts will clearly be revealed, so they will not be able to lift up their head.

But Jesus redeemed us from our sins and the contempt and mockery that we had to take, so that we who believe in this do not have to be ashamed.

Genesis 3:21 says, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” To cover the shame of Adam and Eve who were being driven out of the garden due to their sins, God made garments of skin and clothed them.
Jesus who came to this earth was hung on the cross naked and redeemed the sinners from their shame. In Revelation 3:18 Jesus advises the church of Laodicea to buy white clothes to wear, so they can cover their shameful nakedness.

The Lord is warning those who are lukewarm in their faith professing their faith in God, to sanctify their heart and get ready to receive the Lord. I hope you will be grateful from the depth of your heart for the love of the Lord who took the shame for us sinners.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you will quickly accomplish the complete sanctification so that you will receive the Lord without any shame.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the soldiers took Jesus’ outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and [also] the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece. So, they cast lots for it and one solder took it.

Now, in this serious situation where the innocent Jesus was being crucified, and does it really worth to write about what happened to His garments?

You may feel it is strange that the Bible is writing so much in detail about that the soldiers took the four pieces of Jesus’ outer garment, His tunic was seamless and woven in one piece from top to bottom, or the soldiers cast lots for it.

Also, Jesus’ clothes were not made of expensive materials or decorated with jewels. They were worn out and stained with dust and blood. It is also strange that the Roman soldiers divided the garment and cast lots for tunic.

Furthermore, it is prophesied in Psalms that was written very long time ago.
Psalm 22:18 says, “They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” Also, today’s scripture says, “This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

The Bible is showing us important providence of God through the garments of Jesus. It symbolizes the history of Israel after the time of Jesus.

Let us first look into the providence in the outer garment. Jesus is the Son of God, and the king of Israel, the people of God. The outer garment of Jesus symbolizes the country of Israel and its people.

And since this outer garment of Jesus was divided into four, the form of the garment disappeared, and only the material, the cloth remained. This stands for that the country of Israel would be destroyed and would lose its form just as the outer garment of Jesus was divided.

As only the pieces of cloth, the material of the garment remained, only the name Israel remained. The Roman soldiers’ dividing the garment symbolizes that Israel would be destroyed by the Roman Empire.

The outer garment was divided into four, and this stands for that the people of Israel would be scattered into four directions, to all over the world. The history after that was certainly fulfilled that way.

In Luke 19:43-44, Jesus prophesied about the city of Jerusalem. “The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
[44] They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

As prophesied by Jesus, Jerusalem was surrounded and attacked by the Roman army led by the general Titus in 70 AD. The people of Israel struggled against the Romans, but finally the city was conquered, and the whole city was destroyed.

As Jesus said, “They will not leave one stone on another,” the Roman soldiers destroyed even the stones of the Temple. According to a record in history, more than a million Jews were killed, and many of them were crucified while the city was conquered.

Those who survived were also dispersed into four directions, and since then, the Jews had to be persecuted by the Gentiles living in different places around the world. In the two thousand years of suffering, the most tragic and ghastly incident took place during the World War II by the Nazis.

Within a short period of time, more than 6 million people were killed only because they were Jews. Moreover, they were killed naked. Before I believed in God, I thought it was strange when I heard about the massacre of the Jews.

Usually, when they execute a condemned criminal, they let him put on clean clothes, but so many Jews were naked when they were killed.

But after I believed in God and came to understand the providence in the cross, I understood the reason. This kind of deaths of the Jews was one of the curses that fell on them after they killed Jesus, who came to them as their king.
Although those who directly crucified Jesus were the Roman soldiers, it was the Jews who asked them to crucify Jesus. Since Judea was under the Roman rules, there had to be the permission of the governor sent by the Roman Empire to kill Jesus.

Pilate, the governor of Judea knew Jesus was innocent, so he did not want to sentence Jesus to death. But because the Jews kept on demanding death sentence, Pilate said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

He was telling the Jews to pay the price of killing an innocent person, although he was the one who issued the death sentence. About this Matthew 27:25 says, “All the people answered, ‘Let his blood be on us and on our children!”

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Even the Jews received the retribution as they confessed. They were massacred naked during the World War II as the retribution of killing Jesus naked.

As they confessed, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!” they had to live in such severe sufferings for a long time. The history of their suffering was symbolized in the dividing of Jesus’ outer garment into four pieces.

Next, it is said Jesus’ tunic was seamless, namely, it was not made by stitching many pieces of cloths, but was woven in one piece from top to bottom. Here, the tunic refers to men’s heart.

The tunic of Jesus, the king of Israel, symbolizes the heart of the descendants of Israel and their faith for God. The forefather of Israel is Jacob. God changed the name of Jacob into Israel, and made the twelve tribes from his twelve sons.

Because God knew that the inner heart of Jacob was good among the descendants of Abraham, He let His chosen people be formed through Jacob. The Israelites kept their identity as one race by not marrying other races, and they served the only God.

But at the time of the king Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, there was a division in Israel, and the country was divided into southern Judah and northern Israel. Since then, the northern Israel began to marry other peoples and lost their unique identity.

So, only the southern Judah is true descendants of Israel, and remained as one race, without mixing with the Gentiles. That is why we call the descendants of Israel Jews.

Just as the tunic of Jesus was woven in once piece from top to bottom, the Jews remained as one race since Jacob, their forefather.

Also, the Roman soldiers did not tear Jesus’ tunic. If they tore the one-piece woven tunic, the ply would break, so the whole tunic would be useless. That is why they cast lots and one of them took it.

Not tearing the tunic spiritually symbolizes that no other people can divide or destroy the heart of the Jews for God. The Roman Empire destroyed the country of Israel, but they could not destroy Israel’s faith.

The Jews who were scattered all around the world did not lose their identity even under great sufferings for such a long time. They kept their race and faith, and finally, on May 14, 1948, they established an independent nation.

This was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Ezekiel 38:8-12. These verses prophesied that, at the end, the people would come back to the land of Israel from all over the world and recover their nation.

Which race on this earth would be able to keep their own identity and faith for 2,000 years, especially in such severe persecutions and sufferings? Also, will there be any other race that can recover their nation after 2,000 years of their destruction? This is just impossible with common sense.

It was possible because their heart they inherited from Jacob is very strong. Jesus’ tunic, which was woven in one piece from top to bottom, remained as it was, and this prophesied this kind of history.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus was naked and He was nailed through His hands and feet on the cross. Usually, the ways of execution we know are done in a relatively short time without so much physical pain, although the condemned criminal may go through mental pain.

But the crucifixion is a way of execution that imposes great pain for a long time. It was a harsh execution only for murderers or treacheries. First, they make a big cross with wood and nail the criminals’ hands and feet on the cross.

When they put the cross up, the body weight inclines downward, and the criminal feels great pain on his hands and feet that are nailed through. Because they do not nail through vital spots, the criminal does not die quickly. He has to shed his blood and suffer all the pains in the whole process until he breathes his last.
Before Jesus was crucified, he was questioned for the whole night here and there, and he went up to the hill of Golgotha shedding so much blood due to severe whipping and the crown of thorns.

Because it was very hard to take the cross with a tired body, He fell on His knees a couple of times, but He finally made the way of suffering to the top of the hill. At the top, the soldiers hammered on the nail at the call of the centurion, and Jesus was nailed on the cross in such a wretched manner.

When He was hung under the scorching sun, venomous insects that smelled the blood got on Him. Hung on the cross in this way, He had to endure the excruciating pain for six long hours until He breathed His last.

Then, what is the reason that He had to be nailed through His hands and feet? This is the providence to redeem us from the sins that we commit with our hands and feet.

Mark 9:43-45 says, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] Where ‘”their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ [45] And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.”

How many times do we do with our hands what we must not do and how many times do we go to a place with our feet where we must not go? Then, do you really have to cut off your hands and feet not to sin so that you will not fall into hell?

Even today, the countries that still keep the law of the Old Testament do so. According to the rule, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” they cut off the hands of the thieves and they pluck out the eyes if they commit sins with their eyes. If they commit adultery, people stone them to death.

Long ago in countryside, there were some people who were addicted to gambling. I heard since they could not stop gambling even after they had sold all their land, house, and even family, they cut off their own hands. But those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior do not have to do this.

Even though we do not cut off our hands and feet, we can be forgiven, and we can cast off our sins by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is because the sinless Jesus already redeemed us from the sins that we commit with our hands and feet by being nailed through His hands and feet and shedding His blood.

Also, Mark 9:47 says, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,” After all, the sin that we commit with our eyes is actually committed in our thoughts by seeing, hearing, and feeling.

This sin was forgiven because Jesus wore the crown of thorns as I explained to you in the last session, so we do not have to pluck out our eyes. Likewise, to forgive us of our sins and save us from the fire of hell, Jesus took all the wretched sufferings Himself.

But some people say that they believe in the Lord and they repent, but they still live in sins. God says their repentance is a lie.

1 John 1:6 says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.” Also, in Galatians 5:19-21, it says those who commit the acts of sinful nature, namely those who commit sins with their actions cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This means they will not be saved.

To be saved and enter the kingdom of God, we must not commit these sins. Those who truly believe that Jesus suffered the pain of being nailed through His hands and feet cannot commit sins again. Also, if you truly repented from the depth of your heart and turned, you cannot commit the same sin again and again.

Those who live in the same way without casting off sins neither have true faith nor love God. They will not even be saved. Of course, even if you try to change, sometimes you may commit sins when your faith is still weak.

Then, if you repent deep in your heart and try to cast off that sin, God forgives you. He gives you grace and strength to cast off that sin.

It is impossible to cast away sins and resemble the holy God by human ability, but it is possible by God’s power. Also, if you are children of God, you should obviously cast off sins and become holy.

[Conclusion]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, during the hours of His death, Jesus did not think of the pain of death. He only prayed that even just one more soul would be saved through His sufferings and death, and asked for the forgiveness of the sins of those who crucified and mocked Him.

Our Lord died and resurrected for us with His great love, and the time for Him to come again is near.
Matthew 24:32-34 says, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. [33] Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. [34] I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

Here, the fig tree refers to Israel spiritually. Just as we can feel the summer when we see the leaves come out of a fig tree that looked dead during the winter, Jesus was saying that when the destroyed Israel would be reestablished, the day of the Lord would be very near.

All the word of God is truth itself which we cannot omit or add even a stroke. The conquering of Jerusalem, the sufferings of the Jews, the destruction of Israel and its recovery were all fulfilled as written in the Bible. The things that have not yet been fulfilled are the things to come.

One of them is that Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and resurrected, will come to take His people. Revelation 16:15 says, “Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

On the day of the Lord’s coming back, nobody who is not ready to receive Him will enter the kingdom of heaven. I hope you will not fall into spiritual slumber but be of sober spirit and on alert and pray.

I urge you to finish the preparation as the bride of the Lord as soon as possible, remembering the love of the Lord who took the wretched cross to redeem us from our shame and to forgive us of our sins.
I pray in the name of the Lord our bridegroom that on the last day, when the trumpet sounds, all of you will be caught in the air and attend the wedding banquet.

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