And he bearing his cross went forth into . . . Golgotha. John 19:17
When the two single beams were lifted from the Lord’s bleeding shoulders and laid on those of the sturdy Cyrenian, Simon became what none ever had been, or ever would be, in all the history of the Lord’s Passion–he became for a brief space the substitute of Jesus! Simon came into Jerusalem that morning, from the village home where he had been a guest, unconscious of the tragedy enacted there during the night, and was soon caught in the throng accompanying Jesus to Calvary. Through the dense excited mass of life this heavily-built countryman forced his insistent body until he came to the edge of the procession. From this vantage point he could peer in and get sight of Jesus–could catch the weariness of His face. Was it the merest accident that Simon was taken into the heart of the tragedy? The guard looked round and saw Simon –his prominence and bulk–perhaps an unconscious sympathy growing on his face–and before Simon knew what had happened he had been dragged out from among the people and the cross was on his shoulders, and he was walking beside Jesus to Calvary.
O good fortune of the Cyrenian to have a stout body–to be born a countryman–to carry a kindly heart! It had won him an honor denied to kings and conquerors.
And none so favored as this Cyrenian, for they journeyed together within an iron wall–no man could interrupt or annoy–neither priest nor people, they were so close together that the cross seemed to be on them both. That Jesus spoke to Simon as He did to few in all His ministry, there can be little doubt, since no one could render Jesus the slightest service without being instantly repaid, and this man had succored Him in His dire extremity. What Jesus said to His substitute Simon never told. But on thing is certain in the heart of the tragedy on the way to Calvary, Simon meet Jesus, And with what kindness Jesus must have spoken to His cross-bearer as they went forward together under one cross-one common disgrace! Alone wit the Redeemer one gathers precious treasure!
For a short while this man carried the load of wood. In return, Jesus carried his sin, and that of his children after him, for by the time this Gospel was given unto the world Simon was know as the head of a distinguished Christian house–a man honored in his sons, Alexander and Rufus.
Nothing save–a few drops of blood on the ground remained of the great tragedy as Simon journeyed homeward that evening; but, in the meantime, Jesus had accomplished the deliverance of the world–and Simon, the Cyrenian, had carried the Lord’s cross!What a privilege!
Taken from the throng to carry another’s cross–Via Dolorosa with Jesus! John Watson
Everyone who met Jesus didn’t go away from that meeting the same.
The blind could see,
the dumb could speak,
lepers were healed,
mothers had their sons returned unto them,
the rich young ruler went away sorrowing,
children felt love and acceptance,
mothers realized the importance their role in their children’s lives,
Peter learned about denial and forgiveness,
Judas learned of betrayal and despair.
A Roman soldier acknowledged, ‘Truly this was the Son of God. ‘
All were changed.
Simon, how could he not become a different person , meeting Jesus on the road to the cross.
No wonder, on the day of Pentecost, as Peter preached of Jesus, all the pieces of Jesus ministry fell into place in the hearts and minds of men and women. The seed planted by John the Baptist, the sermons and parables spoken by Jesus, the watering by the miracles and the blood of the sacrifice bore fruit, about three thousand souls.
It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this.
It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Those Roman soldiers are flogging our Lord with a leather scourge that has bits of bones and glass and metal, tearing at his flesh. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. The Son of man stands firm as they press the crown of thorns down into his brow. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. See Him walking to Calvary, the blood dripping from His body. See the cross crashing down on His back as He stumbles beneath the load. It’s Friday; but Sunday’s a coming.
It’s Friday. See those Roman soldiers driving the nails into the feet and hands of my Lord. Hear my Jesus cry, “Father, forgive them.” It’s Friday; but Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. The sky grows dark, the earth begins to tremble, and He who knew no sin became sin for us. Holy God who will not abide with sin pours out His wrath on that perfect sacrificial lamb who cries out, “My God, My God. Why hast thou forsaken me?” What a horrible cry. But Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. And at the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil of the Temple that separates sinful man from Holy God was torn from the top to the bottom because Sunday’s coming.
It’s Friday. Jesus is hanging on the cross, heaven is weeping and hell is partying. But that’s because it’s Friday, and they don’t know it, but Sunday’s a coming…” S. M. Lockridge
Luke 24:1 -9
Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.