Why did soldiers cast lots
for Jesus' clothes?
Submit Bible questions, through our easy to use form,
to our team of mature Christians known as the Email Evangelists.
Question: Why did Roman soldiers cast lots for the clothes of Jesus?
Answer: The practice of casting lots is actually mentioned several times in the Bible (Leviticus 16:8, Proverbs 16:33, 18:18, Acts 1:24 - 26, etc.). Its main use was to render a decision not biased and based on human choice but letting God decide the matter (e.g. the selection of a replacement for Judas - Acts 1:24 - 26). The use of the cast in public, however, determined an impartial decision based on time and chance.
Interestingly, though not commanded in the Bible, lots were cast to determine which of the priests at Jerusalem’s temple carried out a certain function like cleansing the altar or offering incense to God (The Temple at the Time of Christ, Chapter 7). They were common in games and gambling. Some of the things used for lots, depending upon the time and location, were polished sticks, coins, cards, dice, bones, stones, etc.
Before the dividing of Jesus' clothes, Herod's soldiers forced a gorgeous robe on him in order to mock him.
"Then Herod and his soldiers treated Him (Jesus) with contempt; and after mocking Him, he put a splendid robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate." (Luke 23:8 - 11, Holy Bible in Its Original Order - A Faithful Version)
After Jesus went to Pontius Pilate, he again was forced to wear expensive clothing in mockery. The Bible is unclear whether or not this was the same garment previously used to mock him. Jesus received his own clothes back after his torture by the Roman military.
Then Jesus went out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak . . . (John 19:5)
When they were done mocking Him, they took the cloak off Him; and they put His own garments on Him and led Him away to crucify Him. (Matthew 27:31)