Simon of Cyrene
Open Your Bible
Luke 23:26, Mark 15:21, Matthew 16:24-25
BY Debbie Eaton
Text: Luke 23:26, Mark 15:21, Matthew 16:24-25
I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve taken what feels like the weight of the world on my shoulders. I do this in every area of life, from trying to control a situation or set of circumstances—like the stress of household finances or my child’s grades and school performance—to taking on friends’ hardships, ministry burdens, work projects, even justice issues as problems for me to solve. But life doesn’t work that way, does it?
We were never meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. It cripples and disappoints, creating discouragement, sleepless nights, and emotional turmoil. Heaping this weight on ourselves bears anger, resentment, fear, anxiety, stress, comparison, and jealousy—and that awful feeling that we can’t be everything to everyone, even though we try and try and try. I am tired and worn out just writing this!
This kind of heavy living is not the way of our Lord. Jesus said this:
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30, NASB
Jesus knew we would live under the daily weight of our idols of self-entitlement and our illusions of control, trying to play savior to ourselves and others. He knew the burdens of life would have crushing effects, so He taught and challenged His disciples to follow His lead, practicing the disciplines that keep us in relationship with God.
On that Friday after being beaten, judged, and sentenced to death, Jesus walked the dusty road to His crucifixion. Simon of Cyrene experienced a divine interruption when he was pulled from the crowd to carry the cross. Jesus walked in front of him, and Simon kept his eyes on Jesus. He was not taking Jesus’ place; he was simply following Him.
To follow Jesus is to relinquish our attempts to be god and savior to others. It is trusting that God is in control and we are not. It is believing that Christ alone saves, and we, despite our best efforts, do not. It is accepting—and expecting—Jesus to interrupt your day to bring your focus back to Him. Friend, this is far easier to write than to live because it requires complete dependence, humility, trust in God and His Word. To be a disciple means having a heart to follow, learn from, and love Jesus as He teaches, directs, and shapes our character and response to life circumstances.
When we fix our eyes on Jesus ….
The Bible becomes the sustaining nourishment for living life. (Psalm 1:1-2)
Interruptions become divine appointments. (John 4:1-26)
Confession turns to freedom. (Isaiah 1:18)
Quiet time restores the unsettled soul. (Psalm 46:10)
Loving one another is not fixing each other, but pointing to the Savior who heals, redeems, and forgives. (1 John 4:7-12, Hebrews 12:1-17)
The weight of life is transferred back to the only One who can bear the weight.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, He will take on our heaviest burdens and use them to transform us to be more like Him, and others will see and witness His redemptive glory.
“For it is the grace of Christ, and not our own virtue, that gives us the power to overcome the flesh and the world.”
– Thomas a Kempis