Wednesday 2 September, 2015
21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. 27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.  [a] 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
This passage describes the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Whilst it can be uncomfortable to think about Jesus, in all His love and perfection, suffering such a terrible death on the cross, it was by such sacrifice that death was completely defeated. It often angers me at the thought of people shouting abuse and mocking Jesus as He was nailed to the cross (vs 29), for it wasn’t Jesus that needed saving, but the like of man. Little were they aware of the grace and mercy that was being shown to them in that very moment.
It doesn’t matter how many times I read this passage, I always come away feeling two things – humbled and thankful. I feel so unworthy to accept the freedom that Jesus has given us through what He went through on the cross, but am incredibly thankful that I can have life in Him.
Jesus, thank You for the blood that you shed on the cross. Thank You for making me worthy to receive your love and redemption. Help me to never take your grace for granted, but give you all the praise for saving me.
In Jesus’ name.
Written by Laura Samperi
Wow, Laura, fantastic insights and beautiful writing!!
On reading this passage this morning, I am particularly blown away by verse 21. An innocent bystander from Cyrene (on the north coast of Africa) is roped into helping Jesus carry the cross. As I put myself in Simon’s shoes I can imagine the feeling of shock at being forced to help a man carry the instrument of his death. I can imagine the feeling of horror at seeing Jesus, whipped and beaten beyond recognition. I can imagine feeling amber and injustice at the guards who forced me in to the horrendous task.
But from the context, it appears that Simon was somehow impacted by this crucifixion far beyond the initial emotional response that he experienced. Mark indicates here that he knows Simon’s children personally at the time of writing. There is also a mention of a Rufus in the book of Romans and Paul mentions there that Rufus’ mother had treated him like a son!
Thank you Lord that what can seem like being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be woven into your plan to work all things together for the good of those who love you and are called to your purpose.
Wow, God has his plan so intricately woven, no wonder we are so clueless sometimes, it’s too much to comprehend the breadth and depth of what he is doing!