Jesus Unclothed So We Can Be Clothed

Photo by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

Turn with me in your Bibles to John 19.

Last week we looked at the crucifixion of Jesus. Darkness was over all the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour.

Luke 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

In the midst of the darkness the veil of the Temple was torn into from the top to the bottom. The Evangelist Mark tells us:

Mark 15:37-39 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

The Centurion in charge of executing our Lord had seen many men and women executed by crucifixion in his lifetime. Most died begging for mercy. Some begged that their lives be ended quicker, for the agony of crucifixion is horrid. This Centurion heard Jesus as He quietly hung on that Cross. He heard Jesus tell the thief to His right, “Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). He heard Jesus, caring for His mother Mary, put her in John’s care (John 19:25-27). This hardened soldier heard Jesus say “It is finished” (John 19:30). But what moved that soldier’s battle hardened heart was our Lord’s final words:

Luke 23:46 … Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Jesus’ last words were not the words of a defeated Man. They were those of a soldier Who had fought and died on a battlefield for His nation. The Centurion said:

Truly this Man WAS the Son of God” (Mark 15:39)

Jesus Christ, Clothed In Humanity
Became An Unclothed WAS For Us

The Bible tells us that God made man:

Hebrews 2:7 … a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

Humanity was made in God’s image, and in God’s likeness (Genesis 1:26). Humanity was placed in a perfect Garden, in a perfect world, to follow a perfect and loving God. But Adam sinned, and caused humanity to fall. But God was not satisfied to leave us alone and undone. Jesus Christ, Himself infinite God (John 1:1-3), was made like us. Jesus “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death … that He, by the Grace of God, should taste death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).

Jesus WAS born of a Virgin. Jesus WAS a man, a Perfect Man, Who died for our sins. The crowd looks on the body of Jesus. To them, Jesus WAS.

John 19:37 … And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him Whom they have pierced ..

The crowd which earlier called for Jesus’ crucifixion now are awakened by God. God prophesied:

Zechariah 12:10 … I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Jesus has become a “WAS”. The Centurion speaks again, glorifying God,

Luke 23:47 … saying, Certainly, this WAS a righteous Man

Satan’s fever had passed from the people. God opened their eyes. Here was Jesus, a Man Who only did good to others. Because of Jesus …

Luke 7:22 … the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

The ones who drove the nails into Jesus now are awakened. He was innocent, righteous. Jesus is now a “WAS” because of them. And the people? The Bible says:

Luke 23:48-49 …. all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

Preach It! It amazes me that today some so called scholars believe that Jesus did not die on that Cross. He was pierced, and blood and water ran from His side (John 19:34), a clear sign of death. The Centurion had killed many – was he now stupid, uneducated on the nature of death? He did not achieve his rank by being sloppy. Jesus “WAS”. He is no longer. He is dead. All that is left is the cleanup.

What do you do with a naked Someone Who WAS?
You bury Him.

John 19:38-40 And after this Joseph of Arimathæa, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. 39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

As God moved in the hearts of the people, He changed the heart of Joseph of Arimathæa, a wealthy man who was secretly a disciple of Jesus. A naked, bloodied Jesus who WAS hangs on the Cross. Joseph’s fear is gone. He goes to Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. Jesus WAS. There’s only a broken, empty shell of the Messiah. Another man, Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, comes out of hiding. Jesus’ body is unclothed. Look to John 19:23-24!

John 19:23 … when they crucified Jesus, took His garments … and also His coat … that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots …

Jesus’ body is naked. He was unclothed for our sins. He, the Son of God, became a WAS so that we could become Sons and Daughters of God.

1 Peter 3:18 … For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh…

Jesus WAS. His body is naked. He must be clothed for burial. Nicodemus comes, bringing with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. What is this myrrh and aloes for? The Jews used this paste on a person who WAS to wrap the body for burial. As Mary His Mother helped wash and wrap her Son’s body, I imagine her tears mingled with the wash water. Mary would remember her little baby boy, Jesus, on the day that the Wise Men came bearing gifts (Matthew 2:11), ONE OF THOSE GIFTS BEING MYRRH. As Mary His mother helped wrap the Jesus Who WAS, she would be reminded how, the night when He entered this earth, she …

Luke 2:7 … wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger

The body washed, John 19:40 … Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Word Study The phrase in linen clothes is the Greek ὀθόνιον othónion, {pronounced oth-on’-ee-on}, which means “strips of linen cloth used for swathing the dead”. As the body was wrapped with strips of linen, the paste of myrrh and aloe was used on those strips to bind them to the body. The Free Bible Commentary states, “This was according to Jewish customs described in the Talmud (i.e., Betsah 6a).”

Jesus’ body, now clothed for burial, is laid to rest …

John 19:41 … in the garden a new sepulcher, wherein was never man yet laid.

Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey, “Whereon never a man set” (Mark 11:2). Jesus’ body was carried to a tomb, “Wherein was never man yet laid” (John 20:41)!

The stone of the tomb was put in place, sealing the Jesus who WAS into that place. That should have ended things. But the Pharisees and Chief Priests were not done with Jesus. Matthew, a Levite, tells us:

Matthew 27:62-66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can..

The Jewish Leaders who sought Jesus’ execution wanted to make sure that the Jesus Who WAS would be kept in the Tomb. Jesus had told them that He would stay in that Grave “for three days and three nights, just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40; Jonah 1:17). They wanted to make sure that this Jesus Who WAS stayed in the WAS state. They wanted to ensure that His disciples would not come along and steal the body and say that He had risen. Jesus must remain a WAS. Armed guards were placed on the Tomb.

Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulcher SURE, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Jesus WAS. He was going to stay WAS. But He didn’t.

Three days and three nights have passed, and the women go back to the Tomb of Jesus. The Evangelist tells us:

Mark 16:1-4 … when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulcher? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

This was not what the women expected. They expected to get to the sealed Tomb, and hoped that they could get someone to roll the stone from the doorway so they could further anoint the Jesus Who WAS. Mary Magdalene was most heartbroken over the discovery. We read:

John 20:1-2 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we know not where they have laid him.

Mary believed that They have taken away the Lord, supposing a final act of cruelty by the Jewish Pharisees and Priests. While the Disciples of Jesus were in the Levitical Sabbath (that Sabbath day was A HIGH DAY1) Mary assumed that the enemies of Christ had come and taken Him away.

John 20:3-4 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulcher. 4 So they ran both together …

The commentaries notethat other disciple is traditionally believed to be John. Peter and John had a foot race to the tomb, and John got there first.

John 20:4-5 and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulcher. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

This part of the Scripture is very important. Jesus’ body had been wrapped with strips of linen, secured with about 100 pounds of a myrrh and aloe paste. When John looked into the tomb he saw the linen strips “lying” there. Had Jesus’ body been stolen, as Mary supposed, then they would have taken the body with the strips, as the myrrh and aloe paste acted as a glue.

John 20:6-7 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

Though John was the first to the tomb, he waited until Peter went in. It was well known that Peter was the Chief Apostle, and I believe John was deferring to him. Peter saw the linen strips, and saw the head covering rolled up neatly, and in another place in the tomb.

Jesus was wrapped, as a baby, in swaddling clothes. When He ceased to be a baby, these wrappings were removed. Jesus’ body was wrapped with strips of linen and a hundred pounds of embalming paste. Had grave robbers taken Him, the head covering would not be rolled up, nor the linen strips present. The Soniclight Commentary notes:

That Person who had “rolled up … the face-cloth” had apparently been the resurrected Jesus. A grave robber would not have taken the time to fold the head covering neatly, but would have left it lying in a heap. Neither would friends who might have removed the body done this; they would have hurried away from the tomb as quickly as possible to avoid being apprehended. It is not clear whether the head covering lay where Jesus’ head had lain. What is clear is that someone had folded (“rolled”) it up carefully.

Why did the grave clothes lie as they had been before the body of Jesus exited them, and why had the face-cloth been carefully folded and laid aside? One explanation is that these were deliberately given as two different witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection.”

John 20:8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

The Apostles knew that Jesus said He was going to rise from the grave, but knowing a thing and actually believing are two different things. John saw the two mute witnesses – the burial clothes and the face covering – and believed that Jesus rose from the Grave. Jesus passed through the grave clothes and through the rocky tomb. An angel rolled back the stone so the disciples could see that Jesus had risen (Matthew 28:2), not to let Jesus out!

Over the next 40 days Jesus will appear again and again to His disciples. Jesus has defeated death, and the devil. Beloved, in order to be saved you must believe in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ “bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). He died on Calvary making payment for our sins. But Jesus went farther than this. The Bible says:

Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Jesus died on Calvary to save a wretch like me. But He rose from the grave, and is at the right hand of God the Father, making intercession for those who are His people. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is absolutely integral to the salvation of the believer. The Apostle said:

1 Corinthians 15:14-23 … if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

The empty tomb of Christ tells us as believers that:

  • Jesus Is Who He Says He Is:The Bible says in Romans 1:4, “Jesus Christ … {was} declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, BY THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. Death cannot hold Jesus. Since He has defeated death, and told us whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall NEVER DIE” (John 11:26), I know His guarantee is true. Jesus is the fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8, saying “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the lord hath spoken it.”
  • The Afterlife Is What Jesus Says It Is: There is indeed a Heaven and a Hell, and Jesus alone leads the way to God. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; No One cometh to the Father but by Me”. Jesus is the Door to Heaven. He said in John 10:7-9, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
  • Proper Life Is What Jesus Says It Should Be: No person is sinless but Jesus (John 8:7; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 9:28). No Christian is sinless. But once we are saved by faith in the resurrected Christ, we are born again of God” (John 3:3,7; 1 Peter 1:23), “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. We who are saved are resurrected creatures, heading toward a future resurrection. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 tells us “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ”. The “born again” believer views sin differently from the lost son of Adam. It is sin that killed our Master. It is sin that Jesus paid for, very painfully, on the Cross. When a “born again” believer sins, he or she are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, and will repent, confessing that sin unto God for Christ’s sake. The Apostle was quite adamant on this. He said in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know {Jesus}, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”. Our Lord Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. Jesus Christ was unclothed on Calvary so that we could be clothed in the light and righteousness of God. We used to be children of darkness – now we are to walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). “Our old man is crucified with Jesus, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Romans 6:6).

Do you know Him? Do you know my Jesus? He gave His life for you and I, so that we can begin to live life the way the Lord intended. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I beg you, receive Him today. We who are Christians now serve an amazing Savior, and are headed toward a wonderful eternity, filled with “joy unspeakable”. May God the Holy Spirit use His Word to move your hearts to Christ. Amen and Amen!

___________________Note On The “Sabbath”_____________________

1 “High Days” are annual holy days or annual Sabbaths as defined in Leviticus 23:7, 8, 21, 25, 28, 31, 32, 35, 36 & 39. These are special Sabbaths not to be confused with the weekly Sabbath. There were seven annual Sabbaths in addition to the weekly Saturday Sabbath:

  • The first and seventh days of Unleavened Bread
  • Pentecost
  • Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah in Hebrew)
  • Atonement (Yom Kippur)
  • The first day of Tabernacles (Succoth)
  • The Last Great Day.

The “High Day” of John 19:31 is the first day of Unleavened Bread, which falls the day after the Passover (Nisan 15).

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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