Mark 15: 16-25
“16Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18And they began saluting him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ 19They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. 25It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him.”
The morning began early for Jesus, as the soldiers taunted and prepared our Lord to be killed. I wonder if Simon was present of any of this? Did he know that visit to Jerusalem would be a week where instead of feasting and celebrating, he meets Jesus? Did he have any idea who Jesus was as they did that slow, silent walk with the cross? The disciples must have known Simon later, as why else would you know his name and the name of his children, if he indeed was just a passer-byer. And so, in this walk with Jesus he is remembered and honored for bearing our Messiah’s burden as a picture of discipleship.
Precious Lord, you go where we cannot follow in life to prepare the way and call us into discipleship living, sharing in your suffering and become more like you. May the cross go before us and may we never look back. Amen.