After being scourged with a whip, complete with several leather strands, sharp pieces of bones and metal, having his back reduced to raw flesh, Jesus was in very critical condition. The soldiers had accomplished their goal of getting him within an inch of his life. After they spent some time humiliating this innocent man who had only ever done good his life, they had him carry his own cross to the place where he would hang from it, Golgotha.
Along the way he became so weak that his Roman soldier escorts were afraid he would die right there, and they didn’t want that. They wanted to see him up on that cross, so they recruited a man to help him carry it.
Mark 15:21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross.
Simon was not from around those parts, in fact he was 800 miles from home. I’m sure at that moment when he got called out of the crowd and forced to help this mangled man carry his cross he was wishing he had never left Cyrene, but something must have happened to him that day as he locked eyes with the savior of the world. I think he went from being forced to carry the cross, to being honored. Honored to walk along side of the man who would change the world forever with His great love.
Mark mentions Simon’s sons, Alexander and Rufus, when he introduces us to him, and it’s not the last we hear of them.
Romans 16:13 (NLT) Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.
Many Bible scholars believe that Alexander and Rufus went on to be influential Christians and close friends with the first group of disciples. Rufus obviously had great favor with the Lord. I imagine when Simon literally took up the cross and followed Jesus that it marked him and his children for the rest of their lives.
Luke 9:23 Then he (Jesus) said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.
Simon, according to the words of Jesus, qualified himself as a disciple that day and he made disciples out of his boys by continuing to take up his cross every day after that.
If you want to be a true follower, a true disciple of Jesus, and raise your children to be disciples, you have to take up your cross daily. How do you take up your cross? You simply prefer God’s will instead of your own… every day in every way and then repeat.
“Not my will, but yours, be done.” – Jesus
- Got more revelation today on what it means to take up your cross than I’ve ever had before.
- Jesus took up His cross for me.
- Spent my study time this morning reading about the torture Jesus endured the day of his death. Hard to read, but I’m glad I did. I never want to take the cross lightly.
- When our kids see us taking up our cross daily, it marks them!
- By Jesus’ stripes I was healed!
- Josh wouldn’t let me get out of bed without cuddling with him for a few minutes this morning.
- Beau woke up feeling better today! Been missing her sweet smile.
- Had a nice, quiet morning with just Beau doing girly things like coloring and reading princess books.
- Gus laughs so hard when I pretend my lips are stuck to his cheek. His laugh is one of my favorite sounds of all time.
- Lunch date with Josh!
- Authentic mexican at Mariana’s Taco Shop.
- Gus had a great day at school! He was in such a great mood when I picked him up.
- Gus singing “Little Bunny Foo Foo” to Beau on the way home from school… so sweet.
- Gus is still little enough to appreciate the stickers I put on the ziploc bags every time I pack his lunch.
- Best dance party ever this afternoon.
- The Locomotion.
- Happy Birthday by the Beatles.
- Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows.
- Fend for yourself dinner night!
- Beau was delirious and cracking herself up before bed by saying “Do Do” over and over again.
- Had Beau in bed by 7:30, so I got a head start on my bath!
- Got to listen to this powerful Easter message by Pastor Robert from 2009 – The Lamb.
- Text from my friend Sayra… Hebrews 6:14-15 what great verses.
- Manta 4 t-shirt. I stole it from Josh when we were dating and it’s one of the best sleep shirts ever.
- Catching up on “The Bible” on the History Channel.
- My friend Phoebe is celebrating her birthday today. The pictures she posted of the surprise Disney party her family threw her made me smile.
- Dustin & Megan Evans had a perfect little boy yesterday… God is faithful!