The Unexpected Cross Part II

“And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus,

to bear his cross.” Mark 15:21

Simon did not have this on his schedule that day! Here he is, leaving Jerusalem, with his two boys and probably stops to watch the spectacle in the street. Jesus had already been brutally beaten and scourged. He had lost much blood and, humanly speaking, had to feel extremely weak. He was physically struggling to carry his cross, but we never see him abandon it.

Jesus must have fallen and the Roman guards realized, if he was going to make it up Golgotha, he would need help. So, they grabbed the first healthy man they saw and compelled him to help. The cross of Christ has now become Simon’s cross and he did not even volunteer.

There are some very pointed lessons for us in this narrative;

First, cross bearing is rarely a thing we schedule. Even those Christians who know living the Christian life requires a cross to bear have a tough time accepting it when it comes. If it were easy it would not be a cross. The cross means extra weight and often includes grief and sorrow, as did with the cross Simon had to carry.

An unexpected cross can come in many forms such as; Divorce, financial loss, terminal cancer, or the death of a loved one, etc.

Maybe you have experienced something like this and you are still wondering what happened? Keep reading.

Second, an unexpected cross always pulls you out of your comfort zone. It pulls you out of the crowd, so to speak, as it did Simon. It is important to note that no one grows spiritually without getting out of their comfort zone. An unexpected cross is a time for you to grow. God never places more upon us than what we can handle. Especially if we will trust Him through it.

Third, an unexpected cross is not carried alone. Simon would help Jesus carry this cross. But the reality is, when we face unexpected crosses, it is Jesus helping us. He promised to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Can you imagine Simon is now helping Jesus, but the day would come when he realized it was Jesus who helped him?

Fourth, it is not if will you ever carry an unexpected cross, but how you carry it that matters most. I have seen some people get bitter and others get better! As Christians, it is a time when Christ should be most manifest in our lives because of closeness to him during the trial. Simon was a father of two boys. We don’t know why God would mention that unless they happened to be watching their dad carry that old cross with Jesus. It is significant that there is another man by the name of Rufus in the Bible. He is mentioned years later in Romans 16:13. Maybe he was won to Christ because of his dad’s experience. If so, it would not be the last time that sort of thing happened.


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