“I was coming into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, like I do every year. But for some reason, when I got into Jerusalem, there were so many more people than I had remembered before. The Passover is an exciting, joyous time of year. It’s a celebration of our faith. People wave and smile, they talk, and there’s a stronger sense of community than other times of year. Like I said though, this time was different. People seemed agitated and angry. There was a sense of tension I had never felt before. As I entered the city, I began to pushing my through the crowd, just trying to get to my mom’s house. But then, I saw what all the commotion was about. I saw Him. There was this, man, or what was left of a man. Beaten and bloody, a criminal was my initial guess. They had Him carrying the cross He would be crucified on. People were shouting at Him, spitting, and throwing things. I turned to leave, when a guard grabbed my arm and pulled me from among the crowd. He commanded that I carry this cross. My first thought was, “If I get this guy’s blood on me, I’m a criminal, I’m officially unclean.” Fearful of what would happened if I didn’t obey, I bent down to accept the cross. Our eyes met, and in that moment I knew, I just knew this man was exactly who He said He was. He was the Son of God. Struggling to find strength, I shouldered the cross and we ascended the hill together. They nailed His hands and His feet to the cross, and raised it above all of us. After hours of pain and struggle, He looked towards the heavens and breathed His last breath.
Leaving the summit called Golgotha, I knew this was the day I helped Jesus carry my cross. He bled and died on the cross for my sin, for my shame.”
“As they came out of the city, they stopped an African man named Simon, a native of Libya. He was passing by, just coming in from the countryside with his two sons, Alexander and Rufus, and the soldiers forced him to carry the heavy crossbeam for Jesus. They brought Jesus to the execution site called Golgotha, which means “Skull Hill.” There they offered him a mild painkiller, a drink of wine mixed with gall, but he refused to drink it. They nailed his hands and feet to the cross. The soldiers divided his clothing among themselves by rolling dice to see who would win them. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they finally crucified him. Above his head they placed a sign with the inscription of the charge against him, which read, “This is the King of the Jews.”
Mark 15:21-26 TPT
Jesus touched so many lives when He was on earth. Most of the time, it was the unsavory characters - the ones that most people threw aside and didn’t think twice about. But, Jesus was there for every sick heart that needed healing. Put yourself in the shoes of Simon, who carried Jesus’s cross. Imagine that it is your own as he did..the heaviness that weighs upon your shoulders, trying to hoist it up, but always falling under the weight of it, slipping and falling in the dirt. But with that heavy cross, our Savior paid for our sins and give us a place to call home. A place to feel safe at last.
Dear Jesus -
You carried the cross for my sin and shame. I find myself so thankful today for what you have done. You carried my cross for me. I will never understand the weight of the world on your shoulders, but I am grateful you chose to do it. Because of your willing sacrifice, I am free.