As our Saviour bored the cross to Calvary, he was dehydrated, tired, thirsty and near death after the scourging. He was physically weakened and unable to go on. The Roman soldiers knew this and quickly got a man named Simon. The Bible tells us Simon carried the cross to Calvary. The Saviour was unable to continue without Simon’s help of bearing His cross. Notice three lessons from this scene en route to Calvary.
HE BORE THE CROSS AS A DUTY
The word “compelled” assists our understanding of the nature of this task. It meant “to be called upon to perform a public task not by choice but by being compelled.” Many Christians have borne the cross of Christian living and godly obedience as a task to be performed and a job to do. They would feel guilty should there be no one to attend on Sunday and only chide themselves for not being there and would plan to attend only out of duty and not love for the Saviour. When we are compelled to bear the load for Christ, are we doing it because it is our duty or because our love for Christ has demanded it?
HE BORE THE CROSS FOR SOMEONE ELSE
Note the service of this man: he carried the cross for someone. Indeed, he carried the cross for the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible has taught us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the love of Christ. It is true that what we do have to bear our own burdens (Galatians 6:5) but Galatians 6:2 also tells us to bear our brethren’s burdens. When do we bear another’s burdens? When the crisis or situation becomes to heavy for one individual to bear or when the individual cannot go on, just as our Lord Jesus could not continue without help. Many hurting people cannot go on unless we would meet their needs by the grace of our Saviour and the love in our hearts for the people. We need to bear others’ burdens.
HE BORE THE CROSS WITH REWARDS IN THE FUTURE
Simon was the Father of Alexander and Rufus. Many years later, when the apostle Paul sent a letter to Rome, he saluted Rufus in Romans 16:13/ When the father will serve the Lord, the children will be blessed! The father carried the Lord’s cross and our Saviour remembered even this act of service to Him, and carried Simon’s son to heaven. Does mere service to others bring our children to Christ? Certainly not. However, with a heart of Love for Christ and a willingness to serve others, our young and impressionable children will discover quickly our love for Christ. And as we prayerfully plead with God to save their souls, God bestows His reward in the form of salvation for our children.
Are you learning to bear another’s burdens? Realise that through being compelled to bear another’s burden, we can learn to serve and there will be rewards, especially the salvation of our loved ones.
Lord, help us to bear another’s burdens, so that our children may learn of our Saviour and give their hearts to Christ.