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A Heart For God: Burden Bearer - Part 2

Monday, March 28, 2011

Burden Bearer - Part 2

(The second in a series. For Part 1: click here.)

"[The Roman soldiers] pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene . . . to bear [Jesus'] cross." (Mark 15:21)

Simon encounters Christ. Wow.

And he's come along way for this unforeseen meeting - from as far as Cyrene - a place in the northern part of Africa. It's believed that Simon was a Jew - one of the many who were living in Cyrene at the time. His place of residence must have still remained there for the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) all make sure to mention him as "Simon of Cyrene." But Simon finds himself in Jerusalem now, or at least near it for he ventures in from the country this day.

Simon is just passing through. Simon is just minding his own business. He's just going about his day as the commotion ahead catches his attention. Suddenly, he is gazing upon the most horrifying of sights. He sees a Man who has been abused beyond recognition. He's disfigured. (Isaiah 52:14) The brutal act of scourging had a way of doing that to a person. (John 19:1) The Romans used a three-thonged whip weighted with pieces of bone or metal as their method of beating condemned criminals. These whips created deep lacerations on the backs and shoulders of their victims. Most didn't survive the scourging. But this Man does. (Selah~pause to reflect) And now He's heading to the Place of the Skull (Mark 15:22) bearing His cross, the weight of which buckles the knees beneath Him.

Imagine Simon's perspective. Might he be thinking thoughts like: "What's this? The soldiers are scouring the crowd for a volunteer? To do what? To help carry this Man's cross? They're pointing my way. They're choosing me? But why me? I'm just a foreigner. I'm just passing through. I'm not even supposed to be here. I want no part of this." Scripture says that...

[They] found a man of Cyrene...whom they pressed into service. (Matthew 27:32)

[They] laid hold of [him]...and placed on him the cross to carry. (Luke 23:26)

So Simon of Cyrene encounters Christ as Jesus' cross is placed on Simon's shoulders.

And do you think that maybe - just maybe? - at some point during the time that it takes the Roman soldiers to remove the cross from our Lord and give it to Simon - that quite possibly during those few seconds both Simon and Jesus' eyes meet?

Simon is never the same.

(Watch for "Burden Bearer - Part 3" to come soon.)

(flickr picture by thefost)

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Blogger Jennifer Carter said...

I can invision the scene perfectly as described. There would be so many emotions with in those few seconds.
The eye's are the windows to the soul...

12:24 PM  

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