Jesus was to carry the cross to his crucifixion, yet they forced another man to take it. They did not do this out of mercy but of necessity realizing in Jesus’ weakened state he would not be able to finish the journey.
Matthew 27:32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
Simon did not carry the cross because he saw Jesus was struggling and wanted to help. He was forced to carry the cross with no other option. He did not want to pick up the heavy, bloodied cross and be identified with it.
As he walked down the hill from Calvary people likely saw the blood on his clothes and pointed and commented on how he had carried the cross. Simon might have wished he could have brushed the blood off, but the blood would have soaked into his clothing becoming part of his wardrobe. For the rest of his journey even on his way home people would have still shouted out identifying him with Jesus. Likely, by the time it was laundered, the blood stains became permanent.
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
When we accept Jesus as our savior we need to be identified with Him. When we stay connected with the price that was paid we stay on target to having a closer relationship with God. Unlike Simon we are never forced to take up the cross of Jesus we must want to take it up.
Mark 14:30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
Peter thought they were about to go into battle instead they were afraid Jesus would be crucified.
Mark 14:67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him. “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said. But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
As Peter stood by the fire he tried to distance himself from Christ. He would do this two more times. We should take caution that we do not take that stance.
Written and posted by Joyce E Poggensee
Verses referenced: Matthew 27:32, Matthew 16:24, Mark 14:30, Mark 14:67