Friday, April 2, 2010

The Cross Bearer

I was reading the story of the crucifixion this morning and I came across a verse that I have read numerous times but for some reason this verse seemed to jump off the page:

Mark 15 - And they compelled a passer by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

Here is a guy who went from being a casual observer to being intimately involved in the life of Christ. This guy may have been in town for a number of reasons, he could have been there for the Passover celebration, he could have been there on business, he could have been in town visiting family, he could have just moved there, who knows exactly why he was there. Well God knew he was there. God knew this man from Cyrene would be in town, not only in town but standing right were he was, in a perfect position to be used of God. I wonder if Simon looked over his shoulder for some other guy when they guards yelled "Hey, you there, come over here and help this criminal carry his cross.", I wonder if he told himself, "just look at the ground, don't make eye contact with them and they will pick someone else!" But they did not, the guards grabbed him, the Greek for compelled is not a polite term, and probably manhandled him into position with the heavy blood soaked cross on his back.

Simon may have been dressed in his finest robe, he could have been all cleaned up for whatever he had on his agenda. But imagine what his family said when he got home later that day. I can only imagine what his family said when he waked though the door covered in blood, his clothing was probably ripped to shreds! Imagine what Alexander and Rufus said when their father returned home. I do not think Simon left this experience the way he went in to it. Because of his interaction with Christ that day he had an amazing story to share. Imagine, as he left the scene of the crucifixion and started walking back home, what those who passed by said. The finger pointing, the whispering, the name calling. Here is a guy who is possibly walking down the street covered in blood, dirt, spit and who knows what else, trying to process what just happened! Imagine what the conversation around the dinner table was like that night.

I hope that as we celebrate this time of year, the death and resurrection of our Savior, you will take a look at your life after your encounter with Christ and see how it has changed or if it has even changed at all. I hope that if all you have been is a casual observer you will reconsider. I hope that you will take a serious look at becoming a cross bearer. I can assure you and I am sure Simon could as well, that you life will never be the same!

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