Simon of Cyrene was said to have been forced to carry Jesus’ cross. I have the feeling he was not forced at all. Simon gives us a beautiful picture of the true meaning of the Easter story.
We are the ones carrying the cross. Simon represents The One Who carried it for us. And He was not forced. He chose to carry it for us.
Many of us would say we would follow Jesus anywhere.
We can imagine the thrill of riding into Jerusalem to the sounds of the cheering crowds and the feelings of the palms waving around us.
We can imagine the intimate supper with friends. We might be a bit puzzled at some of the things Jesus said, but then again, there had been other times when we didn’t quite understand what He meant.
But would we follow Jesus through all that happened after that memorable supper? Are we willing to be ridiculed and tortured? Are we willing to take up our cross and follow Him? Would He really expect that? Yes.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be My Disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”
You might be thinking, “Wait! I didn’t sign on for this! I mean I just wanted a cross pin or a necklace … or maybe a cross to hang on the wall to remember You. But not this!”
But you suddenly realize you are on the road to certain death … an ugly, agonizing death. The weight of your cross is unbearably heavy.
What was designed to be a Tree of Life for you is now covered with your sins … both the ones others have seen and the private ones you worked so hard to cover … now exposed, along with your suffering. How did you get here?
It’s pay day! And you earned every bit of what you now carry.
But God didn’t do it to you. Satan did. He tempted you, watched with glee as you fell, accused you and then convinced you God would punish you forever for your sins.
“For the wages of sin is death …”
Paul later revealed The Truth that is becoming all too clear, as you stumble your way toward Golgotha.
“You also died to the law through the body of Christ …”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live …”
Shouldn’t someone have told you this is how it would all end?
But wait! Someone is stepping out of the crowd. He is coming toward you. It is Jesus!
You look up at Him through your pain. You hear Him say, “You’ve carried this long enough and far enough. I’ll carry it the rest of the way, if you’re ready to turn loose of it.”
You use your last bit of strength to release the cross to Him. And when you do, the weight is removed!
You discover in wonder The Truth of Peter’s Words.
“He Himself bore our sins in His Body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His Wounds you have been healed.”
1 Peter 2:24
As Jesus shoulders not only your sins, but also the sins of the whole world, you discover with Joy the rest of the story.
“The wages of sin is death, but The Gift of God is Eternal Life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in The Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Without the sins attached, you discover the cross points to The Tree of Life.
The vertical piece points upward to God. The horizontal piece reaches out in open arms to the world.
“Thanks be to God for His Indescribable Gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15
I invite you to reflect as you listen to this timeless song by Sandi Patty. Here is the link.