Do you want to study the Bible, friend? Bible Studies from The Daily Grace Company are created to help us study God's Word deeply, know God intimately, and apply Scripture to our everyday life.
Download this lovely, full-color, 21-page ebook from The Daily Grace Company today. It's only $5. And while you're over there, be sure to put The Daily Grace Guide in your cart. It's FREE!
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.
Crosses are a symbol of beauty today, but at this time in history, a cross was nothing more than a representation of death and cruelty. Jesus changed all that for us. He turned away the reproach of the cross and attached holy meaning to it.
Being told to carry a cross was the most humiliating thing that could be demanded of Simon. No doubt he wondered what this man's crime was. In these days, the one carrying the cross also carried blame for his guilt. And yet Simon found himself carrying a cross and carrying the burden of guilt he didn't deserve. Or did he? You, see, Simon was guilty, and Jesus was not. Simon was asked to carry Jesus' burden, but in a matter of hours, Jesus would be carrying Simon's sin burden as He took the sin of mankind on Himself. What seemed demeaning to Simon would soon become his miracle.
After they made it to the top of the hill, the crosses were put into the ground. Jesus was nailed to the cross, in his hands and his feet. He was crucified with two thieves on either side. Both criminals were deserving of their judgment. Jesus was innocent. Jesus suffered great pain on the cross, and perhaps worst of all, experienced separation from His Father as He took our sins for us.
The last words from Jesus' lips were these: It is finished.
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.
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.
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
Hi friend, welcome to InstaEncouragements. I am so glad you are here. You’re among friends. You belong here.
How would you like access to our online library of helpful eBooks, devotionals, printables, lock screens, and more? You’re going to love this library, there is all kinds of exclusive content, just for you!
Join the movement by signing up below and I'll send you the link today. And no worries, We don’t spam. Promise! We don’t like spam either.
After you've joined the movement, hop on over to our about page to learn more about us and then to our contact form and introduce yourself so we can be on a first-name basis. I'd like that!