. . . Laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. - Luke 23:26
We see in Simon's carrying the cross a picture of the work of the church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Notice, Christian, that Jesus does not suffer so as to prevent your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer. But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon's, it is not our cross but Christ's cross that we carry. When you are persecuted for your piety, when your faith is the occasion of cruel jokes, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ's cross; and what a privilege it is to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!
You carry the cross after Him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of His blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. It is His cross, and He goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow Him.
Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible. Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly that is the case with you; you only carry the light end of the cross Christ bore the heavier end.
And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for only a short while, it gave him lasting honor. Even so, the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, for it works out for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Leviticus 8
verse 2 Psalms 9
A family photograph taken in a familiar and endeared setting often captures the essence of all that a family represents. If we sought to capture a single image of God, what would that image be? What would it look like? Author Rico Tice takes us to the cross of Christ to view the single most insightful image of God. Here we find one extraordinary picture of God: unfathomable love, unconditional forgiveness, and the depth of His longing to save His children. Rico Tice dissects the description given in the Gospel of Luke to carefully examine the astonishing events that unfold at Calvary as God incarnate suffers as a substitute for sinners.
Click here to learn more about Truth For Life
From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.