Simon commanded to carry the cross

A term medics often use at the scene of an accident is “rubbernecker.” This is the people who drive by the scene, straining to see the action without any intention of helping out. They are just curious, but without any compulsion or compassion. They are just like the … More

Compulsion

Jesus was led into the courtyard of the Governors’ official residence. They called together a “band” of Roman soldiers which were one tenth of a legion and that usually consisted of about six hundred men (v. 16). They put a purple robe on Jesus and made a crown out of thorns that would create a festering wound and jammed it on His head (v. 17). Then they proceeded to hit Him and spit on Him (vv. 18-19). After all of this they took the robe off Him and put His own clothes back on Him (v. 20).

Evidently they wanted Jesus to carry His own cross to the place of execution but He was so weak from what He had gone through that He was unable to carry it. So they made Simon, a Cyrenian, carry it (v. 21). His sons, Alexander and Rufus are mentioned here probably because they become well known later in the early church (Rom. 16:13). As a Cyrenian, he was from north Africa.  Possibly he was a black man. Simon was there because of compulsion. He was pressed into service. No doubt he had come from that far off land for the Passover. Possibly he had scraped and saved for many years in order to come. No doubt this had been the ambition of a lifetime to eat one Passover in Jerusalem. Then this happened to him. At the moment Simon may have bitterly resented it. He may have hated the Romans, and hated this criminal whose cross he was being forced to carry.

 

Application

Do I go to church out of compulsion to know the Lord better or to impress others? It is very easy to  do things because others are watching rather than a deep desire to get to know the Lord?

Mark 15:16-23 (English Standard Version)

And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him. And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.

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