When pondering the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ which characters come to mind? Obviously we think of Jesus, Pontius Pilate, Peter, Mary, and Judas or possibly even Barabbas the criminal released to the crowd. However, the one man that is usually forgotten is Simon of Cyrene the man who carried the cross for Jesus. He is mentioned in all four Gospels yet his story is only a verse long in each. Mark 15:21 “A certain man from Cyrene, Simon… was passing by on his way in from the country and they forced him to carry the cross.” (NIV)
We can learn a lot from this man. Now it is not told why he was passing by or even why Simon was the one who had to carry the cross. However, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, states that “In modern times he has been claimed as patron by groups of people working among outcasts.” Simon probably wasn’t the most popular guy when he carried the cross of Jesus; yet he did it anyway. What can we take from the story of Simon? Well we can learn from Simon to do the right thing. If we are with a group of friends it might be hard to be the one who says no. Secondly, we can be like Simon and willingly do what the Lord asks us to do. I have always wondered if Simon knew that day he carried the cross that people would still be talking about him thousands of years later.
Lord, help us to be able to see Your will and carry it out just like Simon who carried a cross.
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