The criminal to be crucified was led to execution in the middle of a square of four soldiers. Since criminals were crucified naked except for a loin of cloth, the four soldiers divided the garments of the criminals. The Jews had five articles of clothing: shoes, turban, girdle, inner garment and outer cloak. “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down” (Jn 19:23).
Only the high priest was using such a garment woven in one piece. According to tradition, Jesus’ mother Mary wove his tunic and gave him when he started his public ministry. She made it like the dress of a high priest because she knew he was the high priest going to offer sacrifice for the atonement of the sins of the world. The soldiers did not tear it, but cast lots for it. This was the fulfillment of Psalm 22: 19, “They divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.”
Jesus revealed his high priesthood even through his tunic. He was the High Priest and the lamb of sacrifice. At the reception of baptism, we received white garment as a symbol of purity and holiness. Let us keep our souls holy and join Jesus in his sacrifice by taking up our crosses and following him (Mt 16:24).