Station 3: Simon of Cyrene Helps to Carry His Cross
Luke 23: 26
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Take Up Your Cross The Savior Said, (Commotio Chamber Choir), Rebecca Groom - Director [2:28]
- Take up your cross, the Savior said, if you would my disciple be; take up your cross with willing heart, and humbly follow after me.
- Take up your cross; let not its weight fill your weak spirit with alarm; Christ’s strength shall bear your spirit up and brace your heart and nerve your arm.
- Take up your cross; heed not the shame, and let your foolish heart be still; the Lord for you accepted death upon a cross, on Calvary’s hill.
- Take up your cross, then, in Christ’s strength, and calmly every danger brave: it guides you to abundant life and leads to victory o’er the grave.
Cyrene was in Africa, suggesting that this man Simon had made the long pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Passover. He had come all that way for the most important feast of the Jewish faith so he might worship God in the temple. We might want to imagine that his help was a charitable act, a good deed done for Jesus’ sake. Instead we read that he was seized by the guards and made to do this noble thing. It’s likely that, before that moment, he didn’t even know Jesus. Still, he is enlisted in the way of the cross. There are times when we get drawn into the suffering of another, not because we want to, but because we are compelled. And yet to share the suffering of another may be to lighten their own burden, if only for the briefest of moments.
Compassionate God, you are the one who promises comfort to your people as they cry out, hearing our cries, seeing our anguish, knowing our pain, and acting on our behalf. Give us the grace to carry another’s burden, if only for a moment, that we might be drawn into the saving power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.