Simon Carries Jesus’ Cross - March 26, 2015

Four soldiers. One criminal. One cross. Simon, a farmer, stands among the crowd and can’t see the man’s face, only a head wreathed with thorny branches. Jesus stops in front of Simon and heaves for air, the beam rubbing against an already-raw back.

“His name is Jesus,” someone speaks. “Move on!” commands the executioner. But Jesus can’t. The beam begins to sway. Simon instinctively extends his strong hands and catches the cross. “You! Take the cross.” Simon dares to object. “I don’t care,” the soldier says, “Take up the cross!” And Simon did literally what God calls us to do figuratively: take up the cross and follow Jesus. Luke 9:23 says, “If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget yourself. You must take up your cross each day and follow me.”

From On Calvary’s Hill