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Matthew 27:31-32

Carrying The Cross

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear

The Roman soldiers had had their fill of mocking and torturing Him. Their games being finished, they dressed Him again in His own clothes and led Him away to be crucified. He was beaten and bloodied from the scourging, yet forced to carry His cross as they headed out of the city.

According to the law of Moses, those parts of the sacrifice that were not eaten, the parts that carried the sins of the people, were burned outside the camp. Jesus was like the anti-type of the red heifer. He would die outside the camp, being stained with the sins of all of His people.

On their way out, they came upon a man from Cyrene, a city of North Africa. There were many Jewish Cyrenians in Jerusalem and they had a synagogue there. This man, a father of two, was returning from the fields when he was suddenly pressed into service. Evidently Jesus had stumbled. and the Roman soldiers thought that He might not survive long enough to suffer the crucifixion, so they recruited Simon the Cyrenian to carry His cross. Luke implies that he did not carry the full load, but came after Jesus carrying the light end of the cross, which was probably dragging. (Luke 23:26)

Many think that Simon was also a Christian. This would make him symbolic of each of us. "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."(Matthew 16:4) "And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:38)

Like Simon, we only carry the light end of the burden, for Jesus has already borne our sins, but we must be willing. There are many ways that we might be called to carry the cross. It might be that we will have to stand up for the truth, though doing so might present a risk. We might have to sacrifice time in order to serve Him in some way ...time with our family, time watching football or soap operas, time relaxing after work etc. We may be called upon to defend the innocent, or to visit the sick or the prisoners or we may have to spend time feeding the hungry.

Each of us has a cross to bear, although it is so much lighter than what our Lord had to endure. If we do not take up our cross and carry it, we are not worthy to be His disciples. "We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrews 13:11-15)

Let us bear our cross and give thanks for it. Like Jesus, we have no kingdom on this earth. We are seeking the heavenly kingdom for which we must carry the lighter end of the cross. We should rejoice in our good blessings!

Before The Throne:

Ask God to show you your cross and commit yourself to carry it. Praise Him for making our burdens so light. Pray for those Christians, especially in oppressed countries, whose burdens are so much heavier than yours. Ask the Father to give them strength and the faith to endure to the end.

For Further Study:

** and led. Nu 15:35; 1Ki 21:10, 13; Isa 53:7; Mt 20:19; 21:39;Joh 19:16, 27; Ac 7:58; Heb 13:12;

(v.32) ** as. Le 4:3, 12, 21; Nu 15:35-36; 1Ki 21:10, 13; Ac 7:58; Heb13:11-12; ** they found. Mt 16:24; Mr 15:21; Lu 23:26; ** Cyrene. Ac 2:10; 6:9; 11:20; 13:1;


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