…they forced him to carry the cross….(Mark 15:21)
I often wonder what it must have been like to be Simon, the Cyrene. He was forced by the Roman officials to carry the cross from outside the city gates to Golgotha, because Jesus was physically too weak to carry it any longer.
I wonder if he understood what he was doing as he journeyed with the Savior of the world to the crucifixion. Although Jesus was too physically weak to carry the nearly 100 pound cross bar He still walked right beside Simon. I wonder if they linked arms, or if Simon helped hold Jesus up as they journeyed together to Golgotha. I bet he was afraid. I would be too. I wonder if he knew Jesus as his own Messiah or if he knew him only as a religious figure. I wonder if on their journey he looked Jesus in the eyes and saw the fierce compassion of a loving Savior who was “led like a lamb to the slaughter.” (Is. 53:7)
I’ve asked myself, why is this in the biblical narrative? What is God trying to show us? As I’ve asked Him to show me why I believe there is one point of application, to me, that stands out.
This account is meant to be a picture of the church in action. There will be many times in my life when my burdens seem to great to bear. That’s when my brothers and sisters in Christ within the church are meant to walk with me, helping me bear my burdens. Maybe they will pray for me, make a meal, clean my home, help financially, watch the kids, or sit and listen during the greatest storms and tragedies of my life.
In those moments we practice “bearing one another’s burdens.” (Gal 6:2) We walk with our beloved friends, shoulder to shoulder, helping them bear their burdens when they are too weak and beaten down to do it themselves.
There’s an old Bebo Norman song I have always loved, called “Borrow Mine” some of the the lyrics say,
Take my hand and walk with me a while
‘Cause it seems your smile has left you
And don’t give in, when you fall apart
And your broken heart has failed you
I’ll set a light up on a hilltop
To show you my love for this world to see
You can borrow mine when your hope is gone
Borrow mine when you can’t go on
‘Cause the world will not defeat you when we’re side by side
When your faith is hard to find, you can borrow mine, borrow mine
And take my love when all that you can see
Is the raging sea all around us
And don’t give up ’cause I’m not letting go
And the God we know will not fail us
Side by side, the church in action, bearing one another’s burdens. Now that, is something beautiful. Let us live like that today! For God’s glory!