OceanSide church of Christ

 Previous Return to Articles Next 

The Significance of the Seamless Tunic
by: Dalton Gilreath

Four Roman soldiers divided the Lordís under garments into four pieces. However, when they got to his tunic, or upper garment, John mentions that it was seamless (John 19:23-24). When the soldiers realized they would have to tear it in order for it to be divided they chose to cast lots for it instead. These Romans had no idea they were fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 22:18. However, that aside, why would John have mentioned the tunicís lack of a seam? The Psalmist made no mention of it and that information seems to hold little purpose other than potentially explaining why they didnít tear it. Upon deeper study there seems to be great symbolism in that statement. Remember that under the Old Law the high priest wore a special tunic as he performed his priestly duties (Ex 28:39). Commentators, historians, and scholars are practically unanimous in describing the tunic of the high priest as being seamless as well. Quickly these two tunics and their similarities bring great significance to Johnís statement. In fact, the Hebrew writer describes Jesus as the Christianís high priest today (Heb 9:11). Not only did the soldiers fulfill prophecy in that moment they chose not to tear the garment, but the significance of that tunic is perhaps further seen in its symbolism of the redemptive role our Lord was enacting that very moment. †