Finding God's Winning Spirit

Cross Bearing

May 16, 2014 | Greg Smith | Christianity

Cross_Bearing.jpeg

I heard a familiar sermon the other day entitled "cross bearing". This sermon was based on Mark 15: 21 which talks about a Roman soldier’s enlistment of a bystander (Simon) to carry the cross of Christ. Evidently Simon was a passerby from Cyrene, an ancient Greek colony under Roman rule in present-day Libya.

The sermon, and contemporary saying, based on the passage says, "Take up your cross and follow me or "Take up your cross daily". The message of this particular sermon was to encourage us to, at times, sacrifice and suffer for God. This is a popular, and probably the primary, biblical teaching of Mark 15: 21.  We can only imagine how hard it was for Simon to physically carry that cross up the hill of Golgotha.

We have all been told that we have crosses to bear. We all have those afflictions, trials and burdens that we must carry in everyday life. We often feel that life is unfair and identify with Simon who was singled out (the Greek word means demanded) to do a hard and painful task – poor Simon!

To be quite frank I have never interpreted this passage that way. I've always felt that no matter how hard, it was a blessing and a high point in Simon's life to carry the cross of Christ. He was not " demanded" or "singled out" but rather given an opportunity.

No one really knows much about Simon after the incident. The Scripture does mention that he is the father of Alexander and Rufus who later were instrumental in building the Christian church in Rome (some scholars go as far as to say that because of this, Simon should be considered the father of Roman Christianity). No matter the case  I feel pretty confident that after the "post cross bearing" Simon's life was transformed.

I've always wondered if I had been in the crowd that day would I have volunteered to carry that cross. The real hard question is if I was in that crowd today would I volunteer to carry His cross?  

As Christians we need to weigh in on this cross bearing thing. We first need to decide what “bearing His cross” means to us – is it a chore or a blessing, a job or a labor of love?  The second thing we must ask ourselves is, “When it comes to cross bearing will we respond”?

If we, like Simon, can identify ourselves with Christ one thing is for sure; we will be transformed – there is no way we can shoulder that cross and remain the same.

 

Agape

 

Really the Cross of Jesus change our lifes.
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