How lovely that our reading has coincided with Easter weekend! I love this story, but sometimes struggle to see it with fresh eyes.
“A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)”
I find this to be such an interesting detail to the story. The recipients of Mark’s letter must’ve been familiar with Simon, if he’s name dropping his parents to give context?
Throughout the Bible, we are offered help from God. Soar on his wings like an eagle, cast your burdens on him, take his easy and light yoke, etc etc. He’s extended his hand to us and offering us freedom from our sins.
Let’s not forget what we’re being invited into. First of all, Jesus’ love and acceptance is available to absolutely anyone, and there is no shame or guilt that should keep you from receiving his grace. He has experienced AND conquered pain, suffering, death, dying, the grave, mourning, grieving, sin, shame, guilt and any other emotion or experience that takes the life out of you.
But Simon lugging the ol’ rugged cross up the hill, reminds me that I am called to get my hands dirty and serve Jesus. Love unlikeable people, give away my money, involve myself in foster care, advocate for ALL people to be loved and so on.
What is something you saw with fresh eyes reading these chapters? What are your thoughts on Simon’s involvement in the crucification? Take a minute and ask God how you can get more involved in his work with mankind.