John 19:23-30 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. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which said, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he said unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then said he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Jesus was crucified on the Wednesday during the Lord’s Passover (Lev. 23:4-8) which fell on the 15th of Nisan [April]. From the fact that He was fully three days and three nights in Hell while His body was in the tomb (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:7-11; Ps. 16:10) and that He rose early the first day of the week, which was after sunset on the Saturday (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1-6; John 20:1-10). Jewish days are from 6pm to 6pm, not like our 12 am to 12 am. If He had been buried on the Friday He would have been in the grave only one night and one day and this would make Jesus Himself a liar, for He said He would be there three days and three nights. This proves that He was crucified on Wednesday and was put in the tomb before sunset that day, for Jews always buried on the same day of death. He remained dead Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, and Saturday. He was resurrected soon after sunset Saturday, for He had been resurrected before early morning of the first day, Sunday.
‘Four parts, to every soldier a part’ Four soldiers were employed in nailing Him to the cross. These were the military guards – the executioners mentioned in Matthew 27:36 that sat down and watched him, for their duty was to watch the person crucified lest his friends should rescue him.
‘Coat’ the Greek word chiton, a tunic or inner garment which was worn next to the skin. It usually had sleeves, and generally reached down to the knees and sometimes to the ankles. Wearing two of them was for luxury, so they were forbidden to the disciples (Matt. 10:10; Mark 6:9; Luke 3:11; 9:3). When a person had on no other garment but this, he was said to be naked (1Sam. 19:24).
‘They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.’ This is the 12th Old Testament prophecy fulfilled in John that was given in Psalm 22:18. One of 333 prophecies given of Christ’s first coming.
In Luke 23:34 we read that Jesus prayed to the Father to forgive these soldiers; for they didn’t know what they were doing when they parted His raiment by casting lots and in verse 36 they were mocking Him. This could be expected of heathen soldiers out of contempt for the Jewish nation and loyalty to their emperor, whose sovereignty they thought was insulted by the Lord’s claim of being born King of the Jews. One would not expect religious leaders to be so hardhearted as these, regardless of how just their cause might seem to be at the time.
Also omitted by John are the two thieves that were crucified with Christ (Matt. 27:38). There is some evidence that two malefactors were led with Him to be crucified with Him (Luke 23:32). Then later two thieves were brought and were crucified (Matt. 27:38). No scripture says that only two men were crucified with Him. It is said that both robbers reviled Him (Matt. 27:44; Mark 15:32), while only one of the malefactors railed on Him (Luke 23:39-40).
We see the contrasts between the two dying criminals in Luke 23:39-43. One mocked Christ, demonstrating utter lack of reason (23:39) and the other demonstrated the highest type of intelligence in 8 ways (23:40-43): by fearing God (23:40); rebuking another for not fearing God (23:40); acknowledging his own condemnation and helpless state (23:40) as well as justice for crime committed (23:41); confessing faith in the innocence of Christ who had been cleared by all civil rulers of any wrongdoing and who was being crucified solely because of religious jealousy and malice, as could be seen by all men (23:41); confessing Jesus as Lord (23:42) and faith in the eventual triumph of Christ’s kingdom (23:42); asking mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ (23:42).
Jesus answered him: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shall thou be with me in paradise.” (Luk 23:43) This is the 52nd New Testament prophecy in Luke fulfilled when Christ and the penitent criminal went to paradise in the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:8-10; Psa. 16:10; Matt. 12:40; Heb. 2:14-15). The rebellious one went to hell where the rich man was (Luke 16:19-31). The paradise here is the one in the lower part of the earth and was later moved next to the third heaven (2Cor. 12:1-3).
‘Cleophas’ he was called Alpheus (Matt. 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; 24:18), he was the father of James the Less, and husband of Mary, the sister of Mary (Luke 24:10, 18; John 19:25).
‘Disciple standing by, whom he loved’ John (13:23; 21:7, 20, 24). Christ wanted His mother cared for and trusted John to do so. Joseph was now dead and His brethren were not yet convinced that He was the Messiah (Luke 8:19-21).