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Simon of Cyrene has always been someone I wish we knew more about. What we do know is that he was from Africa, and he had traveled over 800 miles to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. No doubt this had been an item on his bucket list. He was surely as ecstatic to be among the crowd as I would be in Times Square on New Year's Eve. I can imagine that he was drinking in the sights and sounds, making his way through the people to get to the 9 a.m. prayer meeting in the temple.
And then the most unexpected thing happened. The serene atmosphere he surely anticipated was rudely interrupted, and he was caught up in a brawl. A half dead man was making his way up a hill, and the angry crowd followed him yelling. Suddenly, a Roman soldier grabbed him and ordered him to carry this man's cross. Shocked and confused, he didn't dare defy the command. So he picked up the cross and carried it in the direction of Calvary.
The Greek word for this is tetelestai, and it would have been used in a variety of ways.
Jesus completed the work God the Father sent Him to do. He paid our sin debt in full. He completed the picture God began when He created mankind. He became our innocent, spotless Lamb and our sacrifice for sin.
As Jesus breathed His last breath, the curtain in the temple tore in two. No longer would we need a high priest to intercede and communicate with God for us. Jesus' death promoted Him to High Priest, and He intercedes for us at God's right hand.
Jesus' death is referred to as His decease in Luke 9:31. The Greek meaning of this word is exodus. It is surely no coincidence that Jesus was crucified during Passover, the celebration of God delivering the Israelites from captivity. Hundreds of years following the original Exodus from Egypt, Christ Himself would exit this world, liberating us from our captivity of sin.
In Mark 15:21, Simon is identified as the father of Alexander and Rufus, who were possibly friends with Paul (Romans 16:13). And if friends with Paul, likely believers! This gives us reason to believe that Simon's encounter with Jesus on Good Friday was just the beginning of a journey to his salvation and the salvation of his family as well. Carrying a cross can bring you in contact with Jesus.
Jesus isn't just a miracle-worker. Jesus is our miracle. He has turned our ashes to beauty (Isaiah 61:3).
Good Friday isn't called good because of the pain and suffering our Lord went through, but because it was for our good that He went through it all.
David Crowder says it this way, "The cross meant to kill is our victory." Because of the cross, we can take our eyes off the miracles that-aren't and feast them on Jesus, the miracle Who Is."
What cross, what pain, what burden has Jesus asked you to carry that just seems too burdensome to carry?
Jesus is our miracle.
"The cross meant to kill is our victory." Because of the cross, we can take our eyes off the miracles that-aren't and feast them on Jesus, the miracle Who Is." --Crowder
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