skull scene | John 19.23-27
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, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. John 19.23-27 | ESV
After crucifying him, the squad of soldiers in charge took his clothes, splitting the garments four ways between them – but they couldn’t bring themselves to tear his tunic, the inner garment he wore next to his skin (think extra long t-shirt), because it wasn’t pieced together as most are but was perfect and seamless, woven as one solid piece from the top down. They all agreed, “Let’s not tear it, let’s play for it and see who ends up with it.” They thought this was just their idea, but all they did was read from the Script:
Lost were all my clothes,
all on a couple of throws.
So read the Script, and so did the soldiers.
During those excruciating moments, Jesus mother had stood right there, right there by the cross, and she had company: his aunt and the other Marys – Clopas’ wife and the Magdalene. Jesus sees her there – and now that disciple Jesus really loved was standing next to her. He seizes the moment to provide for her. “Woman, look, there’s your son, right there.” Then he turns to this disciple. “Look, there’s your mother, right there.” And so it was, right from that moment, that disciple taking her in as his own. MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Sit at the foot of the cross.
Watch the soldiers take Jesus’ clothes and gamble over that seamless undershirt.
Watch a son give away his mother to his best friend.
See what else you see.
See who else you see.
Write or draw if you feel so led, but don’t feel you have to.
When you come to the cross is it primarily to take for yourself or is it to give?
Lord, meet me at the cross today. Give me the courage not to avert my gaze. And let my greatest takeaway be the giveaway of my own life poured out for others. Amen.