Read Matthew 27:32.
He is mentioned only in passing. And yet he is mentioned by name in the Bible: Simon from Cyrene.
While he was forced by the Roman soldiers to carry the Cross, did he also willingly decide to help Jesus?
In carrying Jesus’ Cross, Simon from Cyrene became the last person to aid Jesus. He unwittingly modeled Jesus’ teaching that whoever wants to follow him, must take up their cross. In this case, it may not have been Simon’s cross, but it nevertheless cost him something. He was probably ridiculed and jeered at. He perhaps got a lashing from the Roman soldiers. The cross was, of course, heavy and the road, long. Yet, he walked with Jesus. And Jesus walked with him.
In being the last person who helped Jesus, Simon is remembered through posterity.
Undoubtedly, Simon’s life must have been forever altered. Simon saw Jesus up close, broken and bruised, yet putting one staggering foot in front of the other. And not uttering a word in protest.
There was no way he was going to walk away from that encounter, unchanged.
Bringing It Home
Am I willing to be pulled into a narrative that’s much larger than what I’d planned? Am I willing to carry my cross and follow Jesus down unexpected paths? Do I trust him to walk alongside me?
Jesus, I stand amazed at your fortitude and your grace as you walked that road to Golgotha. Even at that juncture, I believe you gave. You gave Simon a chance to have a deeply personal encounter with you. You wove his story into your bigger story. You changed the life of a non-descript visitor to Jerusalem by including him in the narrative of the greatest love story in history. Amen.