So there was this guy Simon who just happened along…
“As they led him off, they made Simon, a man from Cyrene who happened to be coming in from the countryside, carry the cross behind Jesus.”~Luke
I have wondered what was Simon thinking? He’s coming in from the country and finds himself carrying the cross of Jesus. The Word says, “they made him”. It would be human nature to want to avoid the murderous mob with expectation of not getting involved. Yet Simon not only fails to avoid the mob, but finds himself in the middle of it. Simon likely is thinking this is not going to be good. You have to imagine fear is playing a major part in his mind as he picks up the cross.
As my imaginations consider Simon being forced to pick up the cross, I consider the possibility. As he kneels down at the feet of Jesus he looks up into the master’s eyes and sees a deep loving compassion that few in the world has seen. His heart melts beneath the cross and shoulders the burden of a Christ he has just met. As Jesus is further abused on the walk to “The Skull”, Simon may have winced in pain with the sound of each lash on Jesus’ back.
Somewhere in the walk, Simon likely became a changed man. How could anyone carry the burden of a cross for Jesus and not be a changed man? Have you looked into the eyes of Jesus? Have you picked up His cross. Has your fear of the crowd become insignificant in comparison to the love of Christ?
Sadly, you may have picked up the cross of Jesus only to set it down when you looked into the eyes of the crowd. It’s not too late. Once again, pick up the cross of Jesus and look into His eyes. The love you find will cover all fears and you will shoulder His cross with honor amidst the pain.
“Beloved, don’t be astonished at the fiery trial which has come upon you, to test you, as though a strange thing happened to you. But because you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory you also may rejoice with exceeding joy. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed; because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. On their part he is blasphemed, but on your part he is glorified.”~Peter
I love the thought of kneeling at the cross. Gazing up into the eyes of Jesus for the first time and seeing incredible love amidst the blood and gore. Picking up the cross and putting in on my shoulder as I cry out, “I’m not worthy! Father, forgive me. Holy is thy name! Sing praises to the King. Sing Hosanna. Sing!”
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