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Still in Charge

Still in Charge
Words of Faith 3-23-17
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 19
[23] 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.

It was a common practice that the clothing of a crucified man became the property of the executioners. The simple wardrobe of Jesus consisted of five items: a headdress, an outer robe, a sash, sandals, and a fairly long tunic. The tunic was an undergarment woven in one piece. The first four were easily divided among the four soldiers, but the fifth would be of no value if cut into four parts. Since gambling was a common practice in the Roman army the soldiers amused themselves by gambling for the final piece of clothing. It was a particularly distasteful scene to go on at the feet of a dying man.
But there was more going on here than just the callous disposition of Jesus’ worldly goods. Any Jewish person who stepped back from the scene might have noticed that it was strangely familiar. In fact, King David had described the whole situation centuries earlier in a Psalm. What appeared to be the most humiliating of moments was actually fulfillment of a prophecy in Psalm 22.
In Psalm 22 we find a startling picture of the Crucifixion, which begins with the words of Christ from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt 27:46; Mark 15:34). Line after line of this Psalm describes the abuse of Jesus upon the cross at a time long before Roman crucifixion was even invented. Here are a few of the lines:
[1] My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
[6] But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by men and despised by the people.
[7] All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads:
[8] "He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him.
Let him deliver him, since he delights in him."
[14] I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
[15] My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
[16] Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
[17] I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
[18] They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

What the soldiers could not see or the centurion understand was that God was still in charge of this whole scene. God had seen it at the beginning of time and then described it centuries before. God was still in charge because something much larger was going on here and God was victorious in it.
Sometimes we don’t step back far enough to see that God really is God. He is in charge. Nothing is out of His control. He is victorious even when things look dark and humiliating. God is still God. Thanks be to God.

Lord, I give thanks that You are still in charge. I surrender this day to You with thanksgiving. I rejoice in the knowledge that You have a plan. Help me to discern it. Help me to trust the big picture. In Jesus’ name.