The Man Called Simon Of Cyrene
“Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.”
Tomorrow on Good Friday (which many believe properly begins at sundown today), we know the rest of the story that brings to us hope and forgiveness. However, let's turn our attention to years ago when Good Friday was a dark Friday because it brought death to the Son of God.
To open the historic scene let's begin Thursday night in the late hours in the olive grove called Gethsemane. Jesus “fell face down on the ground, praying” to His Father for the “cup of suffering be taken away”. He prayed: “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away until I drink it, your will be done.”
On Friday, early in the morning, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived at the familiar olive grove. Jesus had often met his disciples at that particular olive grove. Judas, the traitor, was with a mob who were “armed with swords and clubs”. Judas stated: “Greetings, Teacher!” Then he gave Jesus a “kiss”.
Later, on that dark Friday, Jesus faced a trial, and was sentenced to be crucified.
Then came along a man by the name of Simon of Cyrene. He was from Cyrene of northwestern Africa. He and his two sons (Alexander and Rufus), were on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for Passover.
When Simon of Cyrene first saw Jesus, He was being forced to carry the heavy cross to Golgotha (which means Skull Hill). A crown of thorns had been placed on His head. He was suffering greatly both mentally and physically. He had been falsely accused, spit upon, mocked, and abandoned. He was bleeding because of the severe wounds from being flogged, and the thorns from the crown.
That was the scene where Simon of Cyrene met Jesus. Whether it was voluntary or by force, in any case, Simon of Cyrene of northwestern Africa helped the weakened Jesus shoulder the weight of the heavy cross.
Jesus was nailed to the cross and His garments were divided. He had a sign placed over His head that stated: “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS”. Jesus remained there until 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon. Then He took His final breath and cried out: “It is finished”. He then breathed His last and died. He was taken down from the cross and placed in a tomb, which was guarded by Roman soldiers.
Jesus Christ made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of you and I, for once and for all. Hope is given to everyone whose faith and trust is in Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews states: “we can boldly enter heaven's Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus”. We receive forgiveness because Jesus “was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities”.
Charles Spurgeon stated: “Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.”
Lord God, thank You for bearing the cross for all people. Help us to live a life that glorifies You. Amen.
~ Ann Brock