The Glory of The Cross part 5 Samuel Zwemer
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By Samuel M. Zwemer








They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture" (Psalm 22:18)


And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. . . . And they crucified him, and

parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the

prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots


(Matthew 27:28, 35)


And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what

every man should take

" (Mark 15:24)


Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted

his raiment, and cast lots

" (Luke 23:34)


Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts,

to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the

top throughout . . . But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they

brake not his legs

" (John 19:23, 33).

"This which is here shown us is the essence of Eternal Wisdom, the Secret dwelling at the heart

of life: this is that Word which is through all things everlastingly. Behind the vesture of nature

and of art, behind religion, knowledge, beauty, love in its myriad forms -- we are in the last

resort, to see this Creative Chivalry, enduring to the utmost: wrung with agony, reduced to

weakness in our interest: sparing itself nothing, if thereby our errant souls may have more light.

Unsearchable and Absolute Godhead within whose thought we dwell, stripped of His vestments

and exhibited before the uncomprehending eyes of all His creatures, loving and loveless, evil and

good alike." -- JOHN CORDELIER in

The Path of Eternal Wisdom.

The stripping of CHRIST! This terrible experience of JESUS our Saviour is referred to by all the

four evangelists.

By Mark, who himself fled naked from the mob in the garden,

and by Matthew, who observes that this incident was a direct fulfilment of the Messianic Psalm,


They part my garments among them, and upon my vesture do they cast lots."

John also refers to this Psalm which gives the most detailed and accurate description of the

whole agony of crucifixion in all literature. "

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of

the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet

" (Psalm 22:16-17).

This experience must have been one of the most harrowing to the feelings of CHRIST because of

His purity and the dignity of His manhood. "They stripped him," says Matthew. Naked He came

from His mother's womb and naked He hangs on the tree.

The first Adam experienced physical and moral nakedness in Paradise by his transgression. The

second Adam took upon Him the likeness of sinful flesh and therefore the shame of our

nakedness was His also.

The Word was made flesh and men beheld His glory -- and stared on His shame -- yet this, too,

was His glory. The CHRIST of GOD was stripped. This was His utmost humiliation. Stripped

that we might be clothed with white raiment, with His righteousness, and when unclothed by

death not be found naked.

All Roman writers on the method of crucifixion agree that the victim nailed to the cross was

stripped naked. The Jews, we are told, granted a loin cloth to their culprits, and conventional art

has done the same in portraying the dreadful scene. Nevertheless, we must add to the piteous

picture this last and most horrible of all humiliations. The stripping off of the veil of privacy and

modesty which the very saints have feared in their martyrdoms and from which some shrank in

agony -- this CHRIST endured for us. What Christian women suffered in the Armenian

massacres included this bitterness also, more bitter than death. Godiva of Coventry "all clad in

chastisy" still felt each crevice in every wall gazing at her. So JESUS suffered. And we who

have ourselves put these lurid tints in the painting must not pass it by with indifference.

"When JESUS came to Golgotha they hanged Him on a tree,

They drave great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;

They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,

For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When JESUS came to Birmingham they simply passed Him by,

They never hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;

For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,

They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still JESUS cried, "Forgive them, for they know not what they do,"

And still it rained the wintry rain that drenched Him through and through;

The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,

And JESUS crouched against a wall and cried for Calvary."

There are two aspects to the horror of crucifixion, physical pain and mental suffering -- the

agony of the body and the agony of the soul.

The merciless scourging,

the nailing of hands and feet,

the thirst of fever,

the throb of tortured muscles bearing the weight of a broken body and longing for release.

Rejected of His own,

reckoned with sinners,

stripped of His raiment,

cursed of men,

mocked by His companions in suffering,

a great supernatural darkness closing in on the scene.

His bitter cry proved to all, and for all time, that the sufferings of His soul were the soul of His


"Ye that pass by, behold the Man!

The Man of Grief condemned for you,

The Lamb of GOD for sinners slain,

Weeping to Calvary pursue.

His sacred limbs they stretch, they tear

With nails they fasten to the wood;

His sacred limbs exposed and bare,

Or only covered with His blood."

Three thoughts challenge our attention as we meditate on this aspect of CHRIST's death. He was

unveiled to the uttermost on the Cross; the world still strips JESUS CHRIST and then divides

His garments, casting lots; the Christian too must be stripped on his cross as we once stripped

Him. A penetrative thinker once said, "You cannot love JESUS with impunity; you cannot meet

the Cross with impunity; whether you accept it or shirk it the encounter leaves a wound." Surely

this is the result of meditating on this unveiling of JESUS.

The deepest meaning of the Incarnation is seen on Calvary.

To Paul this was the climax of CHRIST's humiliation. "

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross


(Phil.2:8). Here is one answer to the question of the righteous on the great Judgment Day, "


when saw we thee naked?

" (Matthew 25:44). He hides nothing. Job in his misery said,


Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him"

(Job 13:15). But JESUS says, Though they crucify me, yet will I show them all -- my hands, my

feet, my bleeding side. "

I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me."

The King is here not in His glory but in His nakedness. To all alike, the soldiers, the rabble, the

priests, the beloved disciple, the women, and His mother -- GOD made manifest in the flesh, but

not in ineffable glory and honour. Only one who witnessed it could have written the words in the

Epistle to the Hebrews, "

they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an

open shame

" (Hebrews 6:6).

No wonder that the curtain fell in the midst of the tragedy.

"Well might the sun in darkness hide

And shut His glory in,

When GOD the mighty maker died

For man the creature's sin."

In His helplessness and agony, JESUS endured the Cross not only, but for the joy that was set

before Him He despised the shame.

At this moment, according to Luke's Gospel, it was that JESUS said, "

Father, forgive them, for

they know not what they do

" (Luke 23:34).

Above His head Pilate's mocking superscription, KING OF THE JEWS. A King without the

purple, His throne a Cross, and beneath it soldiers parting His garments and casting lots over His


How can any one after this be ashamed of JESUS, or crucify Him afresh and put Him to an open


The scene was also prophetic. For over nineteen centuries CHRIST has been crucified afresh and

put on an open shame:

"This thing; a multitude of worthy folk

Took recreation, watched a certain group

Of soldiery intent upon a game, --

How first they wrangled, but soon fell to play,

Threw dice -- the best diversion in the world.

A word in your ear -- they are not casting lots,

ay, with that gesture quaint and cry uncouth,

For the coat of One murdered an hour ago!"

What are the garments of JESUS? "

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art

very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty

" (Psalm 54:1). The visible universe is

the robe of GOD's majesty. The heavens are the curtain that hides His glory. The clouds are His

chariot. Because JESUS is very GOD of very GOD, John does not hesitate to say, "

All things

were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made

" (John 1:3).

All the marvellous beauty of nature, therefore, in His creation -- His seamless robe of splendour

and majesty. Science and art can only discover and contemplate or imitate the beauty and order

which were in nature from the beginning because CHRIST put them there. Every red sunset is

"the coat of One murdered an hour ago."

There is not a single fine art -- painting, sculpture, music, architecture -- that is not finer because

of the influence of the life and death of JESUS. Yet how often the artist and the musician have

stripped Him of His robes for their own inspiration and then left Him hanging naked and

despised. Darwin's "Origin of Species" tries to explain man's origin and place in nature but

ignores the Son of Man. How about the origin of JESUS? There is a world beyond the visible

and tangible to which science has no key and no access. When we have stripped creation from

the CREATOR by explaining all its laws without Him, are we the richer or the poorer? There

goes the man, they may have said in Jerusalem, who wears the seamless robe of the Nazarene!

But did he know the way to His heart?

Pure science has no place for moral values. "If we adopt sincerely and wholly the popular

conceptions of science," says James T. Adams, "we really destroy all values in human life. The

arts are already beginning to show this deteriorating influence. In fiction, for example, of what

use to write of character if there is no such thing, if personality is a myth, if freedom of action is

a dream, and if all we are is merely a succession of states of mind having as little significance as

a glow of phosphorescence over decaying wood?"

And philosophy, too, has stripped JESUS. The philosophers, wisely or unwisely, discuss the very

questions He came to answer and to which He is the answer, and then leave Him out of their


A recent text-book widely used in American colleges is entitled "Problems of Modern

Philosophy," and the book in its 575 pages makes no reference whatever to JESUS CHRIST.

Yet He came to answer the fundamental questions of philosophy:

whence are we,

why are we here,

what is our true nature,

whither is our goal,

what is life,

what is death,

why the mystery of pain,

and what is the hope of humanity?

Spinoza, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kant, Huxley, Spencer, Bergson and the rest, are they not casting

lots over His seamless robe?

Modern ethics strips JESUS of the Sermon on the Mount, but refuses to climb Calvary.

Those who have never entered Gethsemane and witnessed its agony speak glibly of an Elder

Brother and a universal Fatherhood. They know not its cost.

The new Theology, Modern Hinduism, the new Islam and Modern Judaism all eagerly covet and

claim the ethics of JESUS but they deny His Deity. All that is beautiful and true and noble found

in these new religions and philosophies are after all the borrowed garments. "

Then the soldiers,

when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a


" (John 19:23).

Sociologists preach a social gospel and forget that the social Gospel was born at Bethlehem and

the rights of humanity were sealed with blood on Golgotha.

The Cross, once a symbol of shame and guilt, has become through Him who hung on it the

symbol of compassion and peace and love, of courage and devotion and martyrdom.

How can we speak of social service and leave out CHRIST?

When one visits Red Cross hospitals, asylums, homes for the friendless or welfare centres, where

the Christian spirit is manifest but the CHRIST and His message are not in evidence, the soul

cries out with Mary, "

they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid


" (John 20:13). The symbol is there but He is left outside. There is no room for Him. We

send out our Christmas greetings in ever more lavish forms but one misses a distinctively Advent

message on the cards that tell of His birth. The garments are there but not the CHRIST. Men cast

lots for His vesture while He hangs alone, naked and forsaken. "

And after that they had

mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him

away to crucify him

" (Matthew 27.31).

No wonder that the Fathers of the Greek Church in their liturgy of the Passion, after they have

recounted all the particular pains of our Saviour and by every one of them called for mercy, close

with this petition: By Thine unknown sorrows and sufferings felt by Thee on the Cross but not

distinctly known by us, have mercy on us and save us."

We need that prayer. The Christian, too, is stripped on his cross, as He was on His. The disciple

is not above his MASTER. Men always see us as we are when we mount our cross. Tribulation

worketh experience. Over that awful bridge of death nothing but the naked personality can pass.

Carlyle portrays mankind all one, and startlingly alike, when stripped of clothing and ornament

-- the tags of honour and office and the pride of place that make our distinctions. Now there is

nothing that reveals inner character more than suffering. Fire separates. Crucifixion reveals.

There they hang; JESUS, Gestas and Desmas, each on his own cross and side by side. One dead

in sin, one dead to sin, the third the death of sin. A blasphemer, a believer, a Saviour. One died,

and lost his life, one found his life, One gave His life. On the Cross GOD and men see us as we

are. Death strips us of everything but our inner soul. All self-hiding drapery is gone. When we

stand before the judgment seat we stand naked. "

Naked came I out of my mothers womb, and

naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be

the name of the LORD

" (Job 1:21). "Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his

sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do


(Hebrews 4:13), when we pass over the bridge of death.

Therefore gazing at the Saviour on the Cross we long to be "

clothed upon with our house

which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked

" (II

Corinthians 5:2-3). "

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk

naked, and they see his shame

" (Revelation 16. 15). This is the most neglected of the seven

beatitudes in the Book of the Revelation.

"There is no place for the verb 'to have' in Heaven; it is annihilated by the verb 'to be'."

We shall no longer possess but be an everlasting possession.

Who are these in white robes? They are clad in righteousness not their own, and at the centre of

the great white multitude stands One who was stripped on the Cross, but is now "

clothed with a

garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle

" (Revelation 1:13).

The painter, G.T. Watts, asked Frederick Shields to tell him the correct colours for the draperies

of Faith. He replied: "She is the assurance of heavenly things to mortals shut in by sensuous

things, therefore the sky's hue is hers -- her mantle and her wings -- but her robe is white,

unspotted. And this because they who seek righteousness by works fail of that which only Faith

gives." Robed in the King's white we shall understand at last the spiritual and prophetic meaning

of the words, "

They parted His garments among them."

~ end of chapter 5 ~


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Sermon Video:Don't Waste Your Life Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:Feed The Flame of Gods Gift by Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:For Judgement I came Into This World Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:He Knew What Was In Man Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:How God Word's Produces Are Work John Piper
Sermon Video:Jesus Christ In Romans Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:Lionhearted Pastor John Piper
Sermon video:Marriage Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:Marriage Pursuing Conformity to christ Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:Pray Like This by Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:Racial Diversity Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:The Light of The World Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:The Obedience of Faith Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:The Recession Pastor J Piper
Sermon Video:The Truth Will Set You Free Pastor John Piper
Sermon Video:We Found The Messiah Pastor J Piper
Shared Intentions? Reflections on Inspiration and Interpretation in Light of Scripture's Dual Author
Sin and God's Gift Dr J Gresham Machen
Spanish Theology Video ,La Perspectiva Circunstancial:Revelacion y Situación
Spanish Theology VideoLa Perspectiva Normativa: Dios y Su Palabra
St Anselm R C Sproul
St Cyprian Epistle 1
Strange Fire by A W Pink
Studies In Acts Group
Studies In Matthew Group
Studies in Popular Islam Dr Samuel Zwemer
Suffering And Consolation Rev C H Spurgeon
Sufferring Christians by A W Pink
Systematic Theology DR Cheung
Testament Hebrew Lexicon
That the Scriptures Might Be Fulfilled Piper
The Atonement by Dr J Gresham Machen
The Attributes of God by A W Pink
The Bands of Brotherhood Dr R C Sproul
The Bible and Modern Criticism by Professor F Bettex
The Bible Is The Word Of God A W Pink
The Book of Daniel Professor Joseph Wilson
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
The Cambridge 7
The Center of Biblical Theology in Acts: Deliverance and Damnation Display the Divine
The Children's crusade DR R C Sproul Jr
The Christian Faith DR Geerhardos Vos
The Christian in Complete Armour;William Gurnall, M.A.,
The Consecrated Life:The Life and Times of Francis Ridley Havergal by J J Burns
The Conversion of Dr Martin Luther
The Covenant Way Susan Hunt
The Cross by J C Ryle
The Cross John Newton 1725-1807
The Cross: A Call To The Fundamentals Of Religion J C Ryle
The Cup of Wrath Andrew Bonar
The Dangers of Mixing Law and Gospel Jason Stellman
The Dazzling Darkness of God’s Triune Love: Introducing Evangelicals to the Theology of Hans Urs von
The Death and Resurrection of Christ W. H. Griffith Thomas
The Death of Pride
The Deity of Christ & the Church Robert Peterson
The Divine Refuge Rev Charles Spurgeon
The Doctrinal Value of The First Chapters of Genesis Rev Dyson Hague
The Doctrinal Value of The First Chapters of Genesis Rev Dyson Hague
The Duties of Parents by Bishop J C Ryle
The Early Narratives of Genesis Professor James Orr
The End of Soap Oprah Dr Carl Trueman
The Excellence of Christ by Jonathan Edwards
The Faithful Promiser John MacDuff
The Fallacies of the Higher Criticism by Professor Franklin Johnson
The Fiture of Justification John Piper Book Review
The Fool's Creed DR Torrey
The Genesis of the New Faith Charles Cutler Torrey
The German Reformation part 1 DR Philip Schaff
The German Reformation part 2 Dr Philip Schaff
The Glory of God In Preaching Darrell W. Johnson
The Glory of The Cross Part 1 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross part 10 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross part 2 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross Part 3 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross Part 4 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross part 6 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross part 7 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of the Cross part 8 Samuel Zwemer
The Glory of The Cross part 9 Samuel Zwemer
The Goodness of The Law DR R C Sproul
The Gospel and the Poor Tim Keller
The Gospel of John A W Pink
The Gospel of John Set Free: Preaching without Anti-Judaism.
The Grace of Cheerful Giving Frank Cavalli
The Heart of The Gospel DR A T Pierson
The Historical Basis Of The Historical Faith by DR James Denney
The History of Justification by faith James Buchanan
The History of The Higher Criticism by Canon Dyson Hague
The Holy Spirit A W Pink
The Holy Spirit Rev C H Spurgeon
The Idea of Biblical Theology DR Geerhardus Vos
The Importance of Christian Scholarship Dr J G Machen
The Importance of Prayer DR A Torrey
The Internal Evidence For The Fourth Gospel Canon G Osborne
The Jewish World In The Days Of Christ Dr Edersheim
The Kingdom of God DR Geerhardus Vos
The Koran H A R Gibb
The Life of Adoniran Judson
The Life of Dr Martin Luther part 1 by Philip Melanchon
The Life of Dr Martin Luther part 2 by Philip Melancthon
The Life of Elijah by A W Pink
The Life of Faith A W Pink
The Life of John Bunyan
The Life of King David A W Pink
The Life of King David part 2 A W Pink
The Life Of Matthew Henry
The Life of Stephen Charnock by William Symington
The Magic Bullet Sebastian Heck
The Mohammedan Controversy (1897) Dr Samuel Zwemer
The Mosaic Authorship by Professor George Wright
The Most Important Question DR Torrey
The Need For Revival Dr A Torrey
The New Life Andrew Murray
The Oppresion of Man Thomas Manton
The Origin of Paul's Religion by Dr J G Machen
The Origin of the 'ID AL-ADHA Dr Richard Bell
The Origins of The Qur'an Rev W Goldsack
The Pastor and the Funeral by Harry Reeder
The Peace that Passes R.C. Sproul Jr.
The Persecution of the Church by Dr Philip Schaff
The Person of Christ Dr John Owen
The Place of Christ In The New Testament by Dr James Denney
The Pleasures of God video 4 Pastor John Piper
The Pleasures of God Video 1 John Piper
The Pleasures of God Video 2 Pastor John Piper
The Pleasures of God video 3 Pastor John Piper
The Pleasures of God video 5 Pastor John Piper
The Power of Prayer Andrew Murray
The Power of The Word Of God R A Torrey
The Precious Gift of Baby Talk John Piper
The Rainbow In The Clouds John MacDuff
The Reformation by Dr Philip Schaff
The Refutatation of Dispensationalism by A W Pink
The Resurrection of Christ Dr J G Machen
The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ John Calvin
The Secret of Blessing DR R A Torrey
The Secret of Blessing DR R A Torrey
The Soul-Shaping Reality of the Gospel: An Interview with David Wells
The Spirit of Rebellion R C Sproul jr
The Study Bible developed and located around the world!
The Tabernacle In The Wilderness by Professor David Heagle
The Testimony of Christ To The Old Testement William Cavan DD
The Theology of John Calvin by DR Philip Schaff
The Theology of Romans by Dr Charles Hodge
The Things of God R.C. Sproul
The Triune God: Good, Beautiful, and True Harry Reeder
The Unholy Pursuit of God in Moby Dick Dr R C Sproul
The Vanity of the world Rev John Newton
The Victory Parade We Don't deserve R C Sproul Jr
The Way of Holiness Jonathan Edwards
The Way The World Thinks DR A Mohler
The Westminster Assembly Project Chad Dixhoorn
The Will of God In Prayer DR A Torrey
The Witness of Paul by Dr J G Machen
The Word Of God B B Warfield
The Work Of The Holy Spirit Dr A Kuyper
The Works Flavius Josephus
The Year in Books Keith Mathison
Theological Articles
Theology in the time of Charlemagne
This Isn’t Going to Be As Easy As It Looks by Keith Mathison
Time to (Re)Discover Hebrews Sinclair Ferguson
To Be Deep in History Keith Mathison
Truly Reformed Theology Burk Parsons
Truth of the Christian Religion in Six Books by Hugo Grotius. Corrected and Illustrated with Notes b
Two Thumbs Down by R.C. Sproul Jr.
United in the (whole) Truth Burk Parsons
Unqualified Christians Burk Parsons
'Uthman and the Recension of the Koran Leon Caetani
Vehicles for Giving the Self: An Interview with Michael Card
Video on the Prosperity gospel John Piper
Video:The Prosperity gospel Pastor John Piper
Video:The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World Dr D. A .Carson
Walking With God George Whitefield
Water of Life John Bunyan
Way to Christ Boehme, Jakob (1575-1624)
We Believe the Bible and You Do Not Keith Mathison
Western Seminary Missions Conference
What is Christianity? Dr J G Machen
What makes the Apostles Creed so special? By Simon Peter Sutherland
When To Pray Dr A Torrey
Who Belongs To The Church? by John Calvin
Who Is My Brother Dr R C Sproul jr
Why Jesus Christ Died Rev T .T. Shields Famous Canadian Preacher
With Passion R C Sproul jr
Work of Jesus Christ John Bunyan
Writing Fo God 's Glory Burk Parson
Young Women,Idolatry and The Powerful Gospel Elyse