Come Carry the Cross this Easter

Read: Luke 23:26–27; Mark 15:21; Matthew 27:32

“As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus” (Luke 23:26 NIV).

Reflect: I went to a Christian university and had opportunities to make friends with a lot of missionary kids who opened my eyes to worlds I knew nothing about. During finals, you would find them playing Monopoly and other board games and going around barefooted in the cafeteria. What you might not expect is all of the strange things they’d done that were quite foreign to us. Many of them spoke at least two languages, had been in movies or commercials, and had a sense of family connection that I found quite interesting.

After we moved overseas, I found myself doing things I’d have never imagined. Some were unusual things like doing a tango on a stage at a Christian saxophone concert, making a wedding cake, and coaching a jazz singer with her pronunciation. Others were more difficult. We were often first on the scene when a family member died, in a hospital room translating a difficult report to a patient, visiting a relative of someone who found himself or herself in trouble with visas, and taking food to hungry refugees who were in hiding.

Good Friday must have been a shock to Simon of Cyrene. He had come in from the country and found himself being forced to carry the cross of Jesus. Can you imagine that?


Respond
: This Easter, let’s go back to the path leading to Golgotha. Imagine that you have been forced to carry the cross of Jesus. What might you be thinking? How would you feel to be associated with a small part of Jesus’ death that has been recorded in the Bible? 

How would this experience draw you closer to Jesus as you carry His cross? Would you have more empathy for Him after this experience?

How would you tell this amazing story to your family when you returned to the countryside?

Luke 9:23 (NIV) says, “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.’” 

Are you willing to take up your cross this Easter? How will you share that story with others? 

Claudia Johnson, CWLC leadership consultant