Thursday, April 2, 2015

Voices of the Crucifixion: Simon of Cyrene: "I Would Gladly Carry His Cross"

All this week...Holy Week...I am taking on a different character who was involved in some way with Jesus and His crucifixion. While I have made every attempt to stay biblically correct, I have taken some creative license. These blogs are my interpretation of what may have gone on inside these individuals' heads. Our story continues on the Via Dolorosa, the road to crucifixion.

Early this morning, I was on my way to Jerusalem from the country, and I saw this crowd gathered. I heard much shouting and jeering. I wondered what was going on, but I'm not one to get involved. I just wanted to take care of my business and enjoy the Sabbath with my family. It was Passover and my wife had a list of chores for me to help her with, so I needed to get home.

But in order to conduct my business, I had to go through that crowd to get to where I needed to go. I waited awhile, thinking the crowd would disperse, but it only grew. 

Suddenly, I saw a break in the crowd, and I seized the opportunity to get through and move on. As I began to cross through the crowd, I saw this man who appeared to have been brutally beaten. He was bleeding so much that it seemed as if I there was more blood than flesh. He was carrying a cross...barely. I recognized this Roman punishment for crucifixion. The criminal was to carry his own cross to his death as a symbol of conformity to the law, which he had broken. 

It caused me to stop. I watched for a moment. The poor man kept falling from the weight of the cross; he was clearly unable to continue to Golgotha, the Place of the Skull, where he would be crucified.

I couldn't watch any more. This punishment was brutal. I was just about to continue on, when I heard a loud and demanding voice call to me. "You there!" I turned and saw a Roman soldier looking and pointing at me.


"Yes...YOU! What's your name?"

"Simon, of Cyrene," I replied. What did this soldier want with me? I did nothing wrong.

"Well...Simon, of Cyrene," he said with a sarcastic tone in his voice, "Carry his cross."

Now, I'm not a strong man; I prefer to work with numbers rather than lumber. But I had heard this man...Jesus they called him. I had listened to his teachings and I believed what he said. I also believed that he was being unjustly punished. I'm not sure what his crime was, but the Jesus I'd heard was gentle and kind; certainly not deserving of this savage treatment. 

I gladly took his cross.

He was tired and his body was battered. My heart went out to him...yet...I felt something in mine; as if, even in his battered state, his heart went out to me. It wasn't merely a sentiment of thanks for my carrying his cross. It was something deeper-a connection that cannot be explained. 

It was as if he knew me. 

I kept my pace with his; he could barely walk. He fell several times. I wanted to help him up, but that soldier kept his eye on me to make sure I did only what I was told to do-carry his cross. The weight on my shoulders was great, but the weight on his had to be much greater. 

I would gladly carry his cross.

sharing this post with Word Filled Wednesday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Wedded Wednesday

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