Tim Parker

Friday, April 06, 2007

Simon from Cyrene


As they 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]

Normally, the condemned man was forced to carry his own cross, both a physical and a mental torment. Like building your own gallows or digging your own grave.

But Jesus was, at least in part, spared this fait. Why? We’re not told. I doubt the soldiers were motivated in any way by compassion. Probably, they just wanted to make sure Jesus didn’t die before they got the chance to crucify him.

But whatever the reason, this is the occasion for Simon from Cyrene to meet the Lord Jesus.

Simon, was ‘on his way in from the country’, probably that means he was a pilgrim, coming to Jerusalem for Passover. Coming to meet with God at the temple.

But here, in verse 26, Simon comes face to face with the living God in the person of Jesus Christ, as he his forced to walk with our Lord to Golgotha.

That is all we are told here, but almost certainly, this is not the end of the story for Simon. You see, we are told his name.

In fact Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us his name. Mark even bothers to tell us he names of his family… why go to such detail about a man who had just been dragged into the cross story on the whim of a roman centurion?

Surly it must be because Simon of Cyreni was known to the early church. Surly it must be that Simon of Cyreni Father of Alexandra and Rufus became a Christian.

In fact, it looks likely from the names recorded in Acts and Romans, that Simon’s whole family became dedicated servants of Christ. And all began because Simon happened to be walking in to Jerusalem just at that moment and found himself caught up in the drama of the cross.

Praise God for such acts of providence.

And of course, this should come as no surprise to us. The hole of church history is littered with examples of ordinary people, going about their ordinary lives but then suddenly, having a chance encounter with Jesus and his cross. Encounters that change everything. Encounters that brings life where there is death, because of that first Good Friday.

1 Comments:

  • Thank you Tim, encouraging as always. Hope all is well up North. Remain in the vine,
    MD

    By Anonymous Michael Dormandy, at April 15, 2007 3:28 pm  

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