I rushed from a meeting on Sunday evening to join another online. As soon as I joined, I heard someone say “Rubie please take the minutes for the meeting”. I was tired from the previous meeting and I was late to this one so I had several resisting thoughts that were about to be vocalised till the person said I shouldn’t worry, that she was joking and would handle it. I honestly breath a sigh of relief.
I was reading a verse yesterday and I was reminded of that ordeal; “As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” Luke 23:26
Just like that ? Saw him and ceased him on sight to help carry someone’s cross?
I think Simon wanted some respite having returned from a long journey. I’m sure he must’ve been tired and had no idea that more work awaited his arrival at home. He stepped into the city to get home and get some rest and suddenly, he’s seized to help carry the cross behind Jesus.
I don’t know about you but I think I might’ve been hella mad, just thinking back to my ordeal to just write minutes and not even carry anything. I might have thought “I don’t even know what’s happening here, how do I appear on a scene and immediately get given this responsibility”. I imagine Simon felt like that at first too.
I also imagine some of us feel like that now, like we’ve gone from one load and burden to the next, no respite, one journey to the next all through the year, wondering if there’ll ever be that rest we often talk about.
But what Simon didn’t know is that he would be the first to teach us what Jesus meant when we said we should “deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him”. He didn’t know that His submission to that responsibility that really wasn’t his own, will teach the rest of the church endurance and perseverance even when we don’t have the full picture yet.
For every cross you took up this year to deny the reign of self, you empowered Gods spirit in you and that makes all the difference in light of eternity.
Maybe Simon asked questions after, maybe he didn’t, but every time we tell of the story of Jesus to the cross, we’ll reference him as the man who helped carry that cross.
I think there’s still crosses we bear even today in our lives, ones that came without our invitation or knowledge but all the same will serve as instruments to the glory of God. Like Simon, May we follow all the way to the very end and find that we’ve been built up in every way to His glory.