The Unexpected Cross!

The Unexpected Cross!  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
The Lord Jesus has been scourged with a deadly whip, he has been beaten and spit upon. A crown of thorns has been placed on his head. They made sure the crown went into the skin when they placed it on him. He is carrying his cross to Golgotha and he has lost so much blood that he is falling under the load.
The Roman soldiers see a man in the crowd and compel him to bear the cross. His name is Simon and he is a bystander. It appears he is just passing through but now he is forced to take up this bloody cross. This was not on his agenda. He didn’t expect this burden. He will get bloody and tired. Whatever he was doing is now on hold until he arrives at the expected destination.
He carries the cross for Jesus because he is compelled by force but Jesus carries the cross for Simon because he is compelled by love!
Have you ever been forced to carry an unexpected cross? Maybe a loved one died unexpectedly, or you have been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. Sometimes we feel the weight of disappointment or betrayal that we must live through. It is a cross because it is heavy and it has been placed upon you when you didn’t feel ready to bear it. Here are some things to remember about Simon and the cross he had to bear that might help you.
  1. He didn’t bear it alone. Jesus did not abandon the cross when Simon picked it up. Though the cross was unexpected to Simon it was according to plan for Jesus. Simon would make it because Jesus would make it.


  1. He would get to know Jesus personally in his sufferings by bearing his cross. Paul would desire to know the suffering Savior and the power of his resurrection (Philippians 3:10). We always learn more about Jesus in our suffering. This knowledge is not in vain. It makes our faith experiential not just theoretical. His love for us and willingness to bear our cross ought to motivate us when we are tired. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:3


  1. It is possible his kids were watching him. Note the statement; “father of Alexander and Rufus”. God wanted us to know that he was a Simon was a dad. When we as parents have to bear an unexpected cross our kids are watching. The way we carry our cross may determine the direction our kids turn when it comes to the faith. Paul would make mention of a Rufus, Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine, Romans 16:13. It may be that Rufus came to Christ because he carried that cross.

  People are watching the way we carry our cross, especially the unexpected one.

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