Read Mark 15:20-41.
Devotion by: Jessica Spivey
There are two men in this passage that we should take some time to consider. The first is Simon from Cyrene. He was pulled seemingly at random from the crowd to assist in carrying Jesus’ cross the remaining distance to Golgotha. By this time, Jesus has been flogged and beaten to the point that He was physically unable to carry the load that He was being asked to carry. When Simon took the cross from Jesus, there was likely blood that would have dripped from the cross onto Simon’s clothing or his cheek as he proceeded with the crowd toward Golgotha. Take a moment and imagine what this might have been like for Simon. Simon may have seen other Roman executions, but this was likely the first that he was asked to participate in. Even Jesus at this moment needed help in His darkest hour. Take a moment and consider whether you are like Jesus or like Simon in this season of life. Do you need help in carrying your cross or are you being asked to step in and help someone else in their hour of need? If you are like Simon, it might be messy to help someone carry their cross. You were never meant to live this life as a lone wolf Christian, but rather to live in community where we can help bear each other’s burdens through difficult seasons.
The other man that we should take notice of is the Roman officer who was overseeing the execution. He was a master in the art of crucifixion. He had seen crucifixions many times before. It was his job to make sure that Jesus was dead and by the most excruciating means possible. Yet, as he watched all that had happened, he said, “This man truly was the Son of God.” When staring Jesus in the face, he had no other response but to recognize Jesus for precisely who He was. As you encounter Jesus today, who do you recognize Jesus as?