Todd Johnson

Family Pastor

Matthew 27:32

“As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross.”

Luke 9:23

“And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

When you first read this verse from Matthew, it is easy to breeze past it and not think twice about it. I am doing several different 40-day Lent devotions and one of them talked about Simon of Cyrene and how he had to help Jesus carry His cross up to Golgotha. The author of the devotion took some liberties to elaborate on what could have been going through Simon’s mind when he was told to help Jesus. I started thinking about how I would have reacted if that was me? Then I remembered the verse in Luke where God commands us to take up our cross and follow Him daily. The Lord isn’t asking me to physically pick up a cross and carry it like Simon had to, but He does want me to carry the cross every day. Am I doing that? Do I take the time each morning to die to myself and lay it all before Jesus and then pick up the cross and start my day?

Honestly speaking, I don’t. I get so busy with wanting to start checking things off my to-do-list that I forget to even ask God what He wants for me that day? How does He want to use me to care for and love others? I have no idea what went on inside of Simon’s head when he was given the task of helping carry Jesus’ cross, but I would think it wasn’t something he did happily. Did he have any idea that he was literally making history at that moment? These are some thoughts to “chew on” today. I pray that you are taking the time to carry the cross each day wherever you go. I pray that you are asking God how he can use you in your workplace, home, church, etc. Let’s all encourage each other to take up our crosses and follow Jesus.