Summary: 1st message in a series about people in the bible who were ordinary but achieved extra-ordinary things with God
Simon – Carrying the Cross
Hero – A man of distinguished valor, enterprise in danger, a great, illustrious or EXTRA-ordinary person!
WE have a HERO inside of us waiting to get out!
• There are moments in life – “Divine Moments” – orchestrated by God in which that Hero inside has the opportunity to come out – we can walk right by it or SEIZE IT!
• Not talking about superstrength, being able to fly, being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound – Talking:
The Ordinary becoming the EXTRA-Ordinary
• Not to be seen but to see, not to be heard but to hear – to come Alive in the midst of ordinary life.
• Housewife, banker, real-estate agent, single-parent, student, whoever you are
One such moment for a man named SIMON
Matthew, Mark, Luke all give us a peak into that moment:
Matthew 27:32 – “Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, Him they compelled to bear His cross.”
Mark 15:21 – “Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of his country and passing by, to bear His cross.”
Luke 23:26 – “Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.”
3 Different people – 3 Different views – What do we learn?
• The day is Friday – Jesus has been taken captive by the Romans and already held trial (falsely accused) – He has already been severly punished – Beaten repeatedly by the Pharisees and Jewish leaders – Beaten by the Romans – Scourged (leather strap with pieces of bone and metal attached to the end) Received 39 lashes from a whip – a crown of thorns pressed down upon His head – currently traveling up a hill carrying His own cross that He was to die on
• Why a Cross? Crucifixon was to be the most horribly painful death as well as the most humiliating death – Started by the Medes and Persians around 400 bc – Later by Alexander the great (325bc) – Usually reserved for slaves because of the humiliation – took days sometimes for people to die – death usually by coronary failure, because of the pressure on the organs – many times they would break the legs to create more stress on the organs and death would be very quick – many times they were left on the cross for the bodies to rot.
• Carried His own cross – in a parade of humiliation to be viewed by the entire town.
What we learn about Simon?
• “A Man of Cyrene” A Cyrenian – Cyrene - a coastal city in North Africa – that had a large jewish colony –
• “coming out of his country” Simon was coming to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover
• “the father of Alexander and Rufus” Had 2 sons – Alexander and Rufus
• “bear it after Jesus” – Simon is carrying the cross behind Jesus.
• “compelled” – Simon was coming into town as Jesus was going out.
WHY ME? THE PLAN
This was Simons “Divine Moment” – the Opportunity – This was not an accident that Simon was picked for this duty – God had a plan for Simon (we will see more later) –