Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Cross Bearer

With only a few steps left to the cross, the path of Jesus intersects with the path of Simon of Cyrene.  Some might say Simon was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but then, others might argue, he was at the right place at the right time.  Certainly, he was at the right place at the right time to be remembered in history as the last one on the road to the cross to give support to Jesus.  Everyone else was gone.  Alone He walked burdened with exhaustion and a heavy cross and then Simon was chosen.  No, he did not volunteer.  He was chosen.  Some might say he was chosen by the soldiers in charge of getting Jesus to the hill of execution, but who is to say he was not chosen by the Father God to serve His Son on the way to the place of sacrifice.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke all speak of this man who walked the last part of the way with Jesus.  Interestingly, he does not become an unnamed person along the way as some of those before him.  Obviously, someone went to some trouble to find out the identity of this man.  Or, perhaps, he was already known among those who followed Jesus.  It does appear that he was not a Jerusalem local so it has always seemed more likely that his role was the result of God being at work in a place which seemed empty of His presence.  We can only wonder at what words might have passed between these two as the made their way through the madness.  We can only wonder at what Simon must have felt as he looked into the eyes of this suffering Savior.
Being Simon of Cyrene that day must have been frightening.  What he did was not something he planned on doing when he arose that day.  But, there he was caught up in the crowd and becoming one who will always be remembered for serving Jesus.  Not many really did much of that in those days.  Those who might have were too concerned about their own greatness while others were so scared they ran into the darkness.  Always be aware that when we put ourselves in the presence of Jesus, God may find some way for us to serve Him that we never expected. 

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