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He exchanged clothes with us

8 April 2023 ‘His robe…was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.’ John 19:23 NLT

John wrote: ‘When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they…also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it”’ (v.23-24 NLT). Jewish mothers traditionally made these garments as gifts for their sons who were leaving home. So while we don’t know if Mary actually made Jesus’ robe, it was likely a cherished possession. It’s also significant because throughout the Bible, clothes symbolise behaviour and character. Peter talks about being ‘clothed with humility’ (1 Peter 5:5 NKJV). Paul says, ‘And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes’ (Galatians 3:27 NLT). Like His robe, Jesus’ character was seamless, integrated, and perfect. The words ‘woven…from top to bottom’ point to the fact that He had always been directed by the mind of God. In fact, He said, ‘The Son can do nothing…but only what he sees the Father doing’ (John 5:19 NRSV). However, when Jesus was crucified, He set aside His seamless robe, ‘changed places with us’ (Galatians 3:13 NCV) and put on the robes of sin that had our names on them. He died like a shamed criminal for sins He didn’t commit so that we could wear the garments of His righteousness, and so that people just like us, could come to the cross wearing heavy coats of sin, and leave wearing the ‘coat of his…love’ (Isaiah 59:17 NCV), the belt of ‘goodness and fairness’ (Isaiah 11:5 NCV), and the ‘garments of salvation’ (Isaiah 61:10 NIV). Jesus not only prepared a place in heaven for us; He made sure we would be properly dressed for the occasion.

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