Conflict and Courage


The Cross Bearer, November 15

Matthew 27:26-33

And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. Luke 23:26. CC 325.1

Jesus had hardly passed the gate of Pilate's house when the cross which had been prepared for Barabbas was brought out and laid upon His bruised and bleeding shoulders. He had borne His burden but a few rods, when, from loss of blood and excessive weariness and pain, He fell fainting to the ground. When He revived, the cross was again placed upon His shoulders, and He was forced forward. He staggered on for a few steps, bearing His heavy load, and then fell as one lifeless to the ground. The priests and rulers felt no compassion for their suffering victim, but they saw that it was impossible for Him to carry the instrument of torture farther. They were puzzled to find anyone who would humiliate himself to bear the cross to the place of execution.35Manuscript 41, 1887. CC 325.2

The crowd that followed the Saviour to Calvary taunted and reviled Him because He could not carry the wooden cross. They all saw the weak and staggering steps of Christ, but compassion did not reveal itself in the hearts of those who had advanced from one step to another in their abuse and torture of the Son of God.... CC 325.3

A stranger, Simon, a Cyrenian, coming to the city from the country, hears the crowd pass the taunts and ribaldry; he hears the contemptuous repetition, “Make way for the King of the Jews.” He stops in astonishment at the scene, and as he expresses his compassion in words and deeds, they seize him and compel him to lift the cross which is too heavy for Christ to bear.... That wooden cross borne by him to Calvary was the means of Simon taking upon himself the cross of Christ from choice, to ever cheerfully stand beneath its burden. His compulsory companionship with Christ in bearing His cross to Calvary, in beholding the sad and dreadful work and the spectators beneath the cross, was the means of drawing his heart to Jesus. Every word from the lips of Christ was graven upon his soul.... And the heart of Simon believed.36Manuscript 103, 1897. CC 325.4