His Cross Is Our Cross
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. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. ~ LUKE 23:26-27 (NIV)
Iremember coming in from the countryside on the road to Golgotha. There were people everywhere along the narrow path, pushing, shoving, and shouting, “Crucify him! He claims to be the Messiah and savior of our people. He is a blasphemer and a fraud! Let his blood be on us and on our children’s children. Crucify him!” The sky was overcast as dark clouds started to fill the sky. There was an unsettling spirit of evil that seemed to fill the air with a thick, consuming vacuum, lacking human compassion.
Suddenly I felt a powerful grip on my arm from out of the surrounding crowd. A strong, raspy voice yelled, “Help this prisoner carry his cross. His strength has left him.” I looked down upon the man’s twisted, bruised, and blood-stained face as the wooden cross pressed him to the ground, causing his crown of thorns to sink deeper into his skull. His blood was running down into his eyes and mouth from the unrelenting coronation of hate. From within me came strength to help him lift and carry that which would become the symbol of hope and love forevermore. At once, I sensed around me the presence of perfect love. It was as if angels’ wings brushed up under the cross to lift it up. This tender, warm feeling permeated every inch of my being.
Then it happened — that look. Oh, I shall never forget how those loving eyes embraced me and drew me into Himself, expressing all the compassion and love He felt for this sinful world. He looked at me again and whispered with parched, cracked lips, “Simon, the cross you carry is for the redemption of the world.” I continued to look into those loving eyes of brown topaz. I shall never forget them.
After walking some distance more, I was pulled aside by another Roman soldier with a tongue of vituperate verbiage who said, “Enough! He can carry his own fate now.” As I moved aside, I knew I would never be the same, for I had been with the Source of all love, the Son of God.
Dear Heavenly Father, as you blessed Simon of Cyrene, bless us also to be the hands, the feet and the channel of love, to help all our brothers and sisters who need someone to help carry their crosses to the bliss of salvation through Jesus the Christ. Amen.
MICHAEL PATRICK MURPHY, ZION COMMUNITY CHURCH