Day 4: Jesus and Simon Are Made to Carry the Cross

by Apr 13, 2022Devotional, Easter 2022, Journey of the Cross

John 19:17 (ESV)

and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.

Matthew 27:32-34 (ESV)

As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.

From the laundry room floor, I heard the sounds of a normal school day morning, cereal being poured into bowls, my husband unzipping backpacks and tucking the lunches inside. For the past 20 minutes I’d been laying here, crying a deep, loud, raw, unstopping cry. It wasn’t the laundry making me this way.  I was carrying a burden that felt far too heavy.  I was weary. I wanted to give up. I knew God was with me, but where was He? 

As Jesus carried His cross to Golgatha, He’d been beaten, bruised, and weakened. Certainly, He struggled under the weight. To move the journey along, a man was pulled from the crowd and forced to walk behind Jesus and carry His cross. The Bible tells us little about this man, Simon of Cyrene.  How did he find himself with the crowd that day?  Was he there to jeer? To worship? To watch? We know only that he was there, and somehow that is enough.  

Laying there on my laundry room floor, it occurred to me that maybe God WAS with me in this darkness. Maybe by looking for the flash of light and the instant fix, I was missing the little ways He was there. God was showing up in my life through people. I cast my thoughts back through the last few days. There was the friend who grabbed my kids after school because I’d hit traffic on my way home from work. There was the friend who faithfully texted me every morning to see how I was. There was the friend who’d just dropped off dinner two days ago. There was my husband who turned around at the sight of my tear stained face this very morning and wrapped me in a hug. 

God didn’t design us to be independent and self-reliant. He designed us with weakness and failings. He knew we’d struggle.  He designed us to walk alongside one another and carry each other’s burdens. 

God could have written His story differently. He could have shown us a Savior who was strong and powerful until His last breath. But instead, God gave us a Savior who was helped by others to shoulder his burden. Whose burden can you shoulder?  And who has been helping to shoulder yours? 

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