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Lent - Day 30

Day 30  Monday



That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 3).


Mark 15: 21-22
And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull).
Romans 16: 13
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, whose has been a mother to me as well.
Acts 11: 20-21 
. . . men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 


Simon was in town for the Passover festival. He had journeyed from north Africa, from a region in today’s Libya. So we know he was devout in his belief in the LORD. Simon just happened to be in the streets where the soldiers led Jesus carrying his cross. Reflecting on this passage through the centuries, Christians have always thought that Simon was needed because Jesus stumbled and fell, weak from his horrific flogging. 
Imagine Simon’s shock when the Roman guard suddenly picked him from the crowd. I would have feared getting crucified myself!  
We wonder how carrying Christ’s cross affected Simon later. Surely he paid close attention to the news about Jesus and to the reports of his resurrection. Perhaps he even met the risen Jesus.  
We believe Simon became a fruitful disciple from two statements. First, Mark describes him as “the father of Rufus and Alexander.” That information would only be significant to Mark’s readers if Rufus and Alexander were known believers! Simon created a heritage of faith in Jesus. Second, at the end of Romans, Paul sends greetings to Rufus. If this is the same Rufus, Paul has confirmed Simon’s legacy. 


Why did you let them pick me?
I was from North Africa.
I didn’t fit the profile!
O Lord, I was so terrified.
This was not my struggle.
But I feared it would be the end of me?
When we got to Golgotha,
Would they link me with you?
I looked at you then, on your knees,
Collapsed under the weight of the cross.
Pity awoke first. 
“I’ve got this,” I said,
And you looked at me, 
Through blood and tears,
With love that captured my heart.
The mob screamed and spat.
As if they wanted you dead before you arrived.
I felt the fury and knew now
I had been linked with you.
Their screams and stones bowed me up.
Fear turned to pride. 
I was linked with you,
And I would get you to that Skull hill.
They would be guilty of your full, gruesome death. 
You would finish your purpose.
I would carry you as well as the cross if needed.
Why did you pick me?
I didn’t fit the profile of
One worthy for this honor.
But I loved you then, more than I thought possible.
And I love you now.
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20: 31).


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