A Saga In A Sentence
“Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross”.(15:21)
The totally exhausted Jesus ,with the heavy wooden cross over His shoulder, stumbled and was unable to move an inch forward. Now it became imperative for the soldiers to somehow take the cross to Golgotha. Here enters Simon the Cyrenian. They compelled him to bear His cross.
This one-sentence verse describing the incident, contains a saga of the transformation of an individual, his family, his country, and his race.
It might prima facie seem like a farmer coming out of his field being compelled to bear Jesus’ cross. But:
Cyrene was a town situated thousands of miles away in the country, today known as Libya, in Northern Africa. Jews had settled all over the world and their descendants got integrated with the country they settled in. Our Simon was a black Jew of such ancestry in Africa. It was the dream of every Jew to visit the Holy City of Jerusalem once in their life time and participate in the Passover Feast.
And Simon was in Jerusalem, having covered thousands of miles, to observe the Passover, fulfilling his life’s ambition. There he sees an unusual, unruly crowd. A hapless criminal carrying a heavy cross surrounded by a posse of Roman soldiers. A totally unexpected scene in the Holy City.
Curiosity took the better of him. He took a short-cut by crossing a field and reached the scene.
The soldiers found the tall, hefty African passing by. There was no need for a second thought for them to dump the heavy cross on the shoulders of this stranger. The foreign pilgrim had no option but to obey the Roman soldiers. But, who is this criminal? Why should I carry his cross? He was clueless.
But, after reaching Golgotha, he got to look only once into the tender, merciful eyes of the Creator of the Universe, hanging on the cross. A thunder, a tremor shook him to the core. Simon became a new being.
This Simon rose to be the spiritual leader who laid his hand on Barnabas and Saul and sent them for evangelisation. Acts.13:1-3)
The sons of this Simon, Alexander and Rufus, became greater leaders than their father.(That is why Simon is referred to as the father of Alexander and Rufus, instead of son of so and so, in Mark’s Gospel)
The wife of this Simon endeared herself to Paul as his own mother.(Rom. 16:13)
We may also be called upon to bear the cross for Jesus, unexpectedly. But that will undoubtedly turn out to be a blessing for generations to come.
George Joseph Trivandrum
Q. What are the signs of the end times?
A. Mark 13:5–37 =
1) False preachers 2) Many led astray 3) Wars everywhere 4) A lapse of time comes next
5) Bigger wars(This time marks the beginning of the end)
6) Earthquakes around the world 7) Famine
8)Persecution in the synagogues
9) Arrests for following Jesus
10) Evangelism to political leaders via those arrests
11) The gospel will reach the far corners
12) The Holy Spirit will speak through you when speaking in your own defense
13) Betrayal, even to the death within families
14) Hated by non–believers; some will survive to the end
15) The sacrilegious object that causes desecration will stand where it should not be
16) People in Judea will flee to the hills, leaving suddenly with no time to pack
17) No mercy for pregnant women (we should pray that flight not be in winter)
18) Greater horror, like none ever before, nor will it be repeated
19) God will shorten that time for believers’ sake
20) More false preachers and now false messiahs performing signs and wonders to deceive even believers if possible
21) Weather phenomenon: sun and moon darken, stars fall from the sky
22) Jesus will come back in the clouds with great power and glory
23) Angels will gather believers from earth and heaven.
Get ready to meet JESUS ✝️🛐🙏🥀