As the soldiers led Jesus away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
In the account of our Lord’s crucifixion, we read of Simon, who had our Lord’s cross thrust upon him by the Roman soldiers that he might carry it to the hill Golgotha for the crucifixion of Jesus. Oh, how we ought to see in this story a clear picture of the work of every disciple of our Lord Jesus in every age! We have been called to live a life of cross-bearing without complaint, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
Here are two basic truths that will encourage you today. First, Jesus did not suffer so that we might live a life of ease and comfort in Zion. No, Jesus suffered during His earthly ministry, and so shall all those who call upon His name. There shall be no crown upon the head of any saint without a cross first being laid upon his or her shoulder. Our Lord’s plan is not to save us from suffering; rather, He has promised that He will sanctify and refine us through suffering.
We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. (2 Timothy 3:12)
Second, some scholars have suggested that Simon carried one end of the cross while our Lord still carried the other. Regardless, Jesus went with the cross every step of the way. You and I must remember today whose footsteps in which we walk when you carry our own cross. Make no mistake, your path of cross-bearing is marked by the footprints of your faithful Savior. Mark the blood-stained footprints along the path and be strengthened by the fact that His blood was spilled for you. Mark also the blood-stained prints from His hands and knees along the path, where our Lord was driven into the ground under the weight of the cruel cross. Every drop of His precious blood is there to cheer us on as we make our way to the Celestial City.
In closing, let me comment on the one difference between Simon and each one of us. Simon was forced to carry the cross; we are not. Jesus said cross-bearing is to be the mark of every disciple who would come after Him. But we are to take up the cross, not have it thrust upon us.
Is your walk with Jesus marked by intentional, voluntary cross-bearing? Oh, beloved, “Simon-like” saint, shrink not back from the cross you have been called to bear for your Savior! For soon and very soon, you will exchange it for your crown.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!