|In the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Augusta, GA|
Today as we mediate on the LORD, I want us to also think about someone—Simon the Cyrenian—whose day was disrupted by a most defining moment of history. He indeed followed Jesus all the way to Golgotha.
There isn’t much recorded about this man in the Scriptures, and I am not a theologian, but this is what I’ve found. Simon, from Cyrene, a city in Libya, had come into Jerusalem from out of the country possibly to celebrate the Passover. Maybe he had his sons with him (I don’t know). He had two sons, Alexander and Rufus. Rufus is referred to by Paul in his letter to the Romans as one “chosen of the Lord”. (See Romans 16:13) Since the Apostles had spoken to people from his region telling of the wonderful works of God (See Acts 2:11), it’s possible Simon was a believer. But I don’t know if he was or not. This is what we know.
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. Mark 15:21
And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it for Jesus. Luke 23:26
I can imagine the soldiers snatching Simon by the shoulders, pulling him out of that crowd which lined the streets, and making him bear the cross on which Jesus would be crucified. I imagine he was terrified, little knowing that he had been overtaken by a divine assignment.
He carried THE CROSS all the way with Jesus to Golgotha. And I believe he stayed with Jesus, witnessing his crucifixion, and the crucifixion of the two thieves, and the agony, and the darkness and our Lord’s death. I believe Simon carried that cross all the way to Life Eternal, and his family too with him.
And today, knowing what we know, we all might say, “Let me, let me, let me bear the Savior’s cross!” We would volunteer gladly to help carry that burden for our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can still shout for joy because Jesus has told us how we can do just that.
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40
Don’t be surprised if God gives you an unexpected opportunity to do an act of mercy and kindness and by so doing allows you to help bear the Lord’s cross. We all need a Simon, and we all can be one.
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|Beautiful picture courtesy of Aaron Barton|