Then they led him out to crucify him. A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.
This is the one and only time anyone is asked to carry Jesus’ cross! The Teacher often told His students they must take up their cross and follow Him. Their own though! Not His!
We’re not told how Simon felt about this. We know he wasn’t given a choice by the Roman soldiers. We suspect he wasn’t happy about it.
Simon was a long way from Africa and his hometown in Libya. He just happens to be in the right place at the wrong time. Or is he?
Students of Jesus learn to doubt coincidences. Experience teaches God is always involved. A coincidence is God’s perfect timing!
Naturally, that’s what we believe about Simon. We suspect this close encounter with Jesus is God’s providential move in his life.
Any evidence to support this? Yes, right here in Mark’s text!
Mark mentions Simon’s sons, Rufus and Alexander, without explanation. Why even include them? Unless, of course, these two men are already well known to Mark’s Christian readers!
Forced or not, what a privilege to carry the cross of Jesus as He walked alongside! Don’t you wish it could have been you?
Wait a minute! Jesus is walking with us too! As we take up our own cross and follow Him each day. He's helping us along.
They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). And they crucified him.