Friday, 22 April 2011

Simon 's Cross

by Max Lucado

“A man named Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming from the fields to the city. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus”
(Mark 15:21)

Simon grumbles beneath his breath. His patience is as scarce as space on the Jerusalem streets. He’d hoped for a peaceful Passover. The city is anything but quiet. Simon prefers his open fields. And now, to top it off, the Roman guards are clearing the path for some who-knows-which-dignitary who’ll march his soldiers and strut his stallion past the people.

“There he is!”
Simon’s head and dozens of others turn. In an instant they know. This is no dignitary.

“It’s a crucifixion,” he hears someone whisper. Four soldiers. One criminal. Four spears. One cross. The inside corner of the cross saddles the convict’s shoulders. Its base drags in the dirt. Its top teeters in the air. The condemned man steadies the cross the best he can, but stumbles beneath its weight. He pushes himself to his feet and lurches forward before falling again. Simon can’t see the man’s face, only a head wreathed with thorny branches.

The sour-faced centurion grows more agitated with each diminishing step. He curses the criminal and the crowd.
“Hurry up!”
“Little hope of that,” Simon says to himself.

The cross-bearer stops in front of Simon and heaves for air. Simon winces at what he sees. The beam rubbing against an already raw back. Rivulets of crimson streaking the man’s face. His mouth hangs open, both out of pain and out of breath.

“His name is Jesus,” someone speaks softly.
“Move on!” commands the executioner.

But Jesus can’t. His body leans and feet try, but he can’t move. The beam begins to sway. Jesus tries to steady it, but can’t. Like a just-cut tree, the cross begins to topple toward the crowd. Everyone steps back, except the farmer. Simon instinctively extends his strong hands and catches the cross.

Jesus falls face-first in the dirt and stays there. Simon pushes the cross back on its side. The centurion looks at the exhausted Christ and the bulky bystander and needs only an instant to make the decision. He presses the flat of his spear on Simon’s shoulders.

“You! Take the cross!”
Simon dares to object, “Sir, I don’t even know the man!”
“I don’t care. Take up the cross.”

Simon growls, balances the timber against his shoulder, and steps out of the crowd onto the street, out of anonymity into history, and becomes the first in a line of millions who will take up the cross and follow Christ.

He did literally what God calls us to do figuratively: take up the cross and follow Jesus. “If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me” (Luke. 9:23 CEV).

NEW Gift Book! This story from:
This is Love - The Extraordinary Story of Jesus
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado

12 Fertilize my soul:

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen!! I love the photos and the Max Lucado quote :-)

God bless you Amrita and have a wonderful Easter


Sincerity said...

Sometimes when I hear the Easter story I forget the humanity of Jesus Christ. He was God yes but he was also human.

I don't always focus on the fact the Jesus had sore muscles and fatigue and that, as in this case, he needed other humans to step in and help.

Ironic that Simon was carrying the very object that would allow Jesus to save him and everyone else who believed.

Amrita said...

Max Lucado is a wonderful teacher Ron

Amrita said...

Dear Sinceerity, the act of Simon always intrigued me since childhood. This unknown stranger walking into the scene and beaqrinfg Jesus' burden.Such lessons to be learnt from that.

Ye s Jesus was truly God and truly human - so difficult to to fully grasp it. Phillipians 2 talks about it.

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Dear Amrita,
This post touched my heart, and brought tears to my eyes. The suffering that Jesus went through had to be unbearable. What a noble reminder that we need to take up our crosses and follow Him. How many times we complain and complain about our sufferings and challenges... This is the time to remember that that's part of following our Lord, sharing the cross...for our own salvation.

Blessings, Amita.


Nadwrażliwiec said...

Simon had to go with cross with Jesus. When Romans said something, then man had to do it and he couldn't say "no".
Few months ago I read this prayer from Africa: "Thank You Lord, that Your Son was Jew, that He healed child of Greek woman, that Simon was North African man. You love everyone without nation and we thank You for it".
I wish You blessed and joyful time of Eastern with You family.

Amrita said...

Dear Doris, from a human perspective what happened on Good Friday was a terrible defeat for Jesus, but from God 's perspective it was a glorious victory in a long war

Amrita said...

Dear Zim, Simon' s contribution was phenomanal

Unknown said...

Never have enough of the story of Jesus on the cross. Every time I hear it, it gives me new perspective, new meanings.

Mari Nuñez said...

Like Doris, I believe that we part of following the Lord, is sharing the cross, for our own salvation and growth in faith.


Amrita said...

Dear Evby the old story will never grow stale - it is fresh each time we hear it

Amrita said...

Dear Mari,
Jesus has acomplished our salvation - His last words from the cross were It is Finished., meaning He has paid the price for our sin, we are saved through faith in His finished work.

Yes daily we have to bear our cross , deny ourselves and follow Him.