In His Steps

Jesus is led away to be crucified. Luke 23:26-31 (also in Matthew 27:32-34 ; Mark 15:21-24; John 19:17)

As the crowd led Jesus away to his death, Simon of Cyrene, who was just coming into Jerusalem from the country, was forced to follow, carrying Jesus’ cross. Great crowds trailed along behind, and many grief-stricken women.

But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but for yourselves and for your children. For the days are coming when the women who have no children will be counted fortunate indeed. Mankind will beg the mountains to fall on them and crush them, and the hills to bury them. For if such things as this are done to me, the Living Tree, what will they do to you?”

Luke alone mentions the tears of the Jewish women while Jesus was being led through the streets to his execution. Jesus told them not to weep for him but for themselves. He knew that in only about forty years, Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed by the Romans.

Simon’s Service

Colonies of Jews existed outside Judea. Simon had made a Passover pilgrimage to Jerusalem all the way from Cyrene in North Africa. Simon certainly never expected to carry a condemned man’s cross to the execution site, yet the Roman soldiers forced him to do so. Simon alone is remembered for this particular act of service—carrying the crossbeam after Jesus, in his beaten humanity, was unable to do so. Small acts can have big effects. Simon could not have saved Jesus’ life, but he did help carry the cross. At some point, it seems that Simon also came to believe in this condemned man as his Savior, for the Bible records that his sons, Alexander and Rufus, became well known later in the early church (Romans 16:13). Never discount the long-reaching effects of small acts of help and service.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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