Sermons

Summary: 1st message in a series about people in the bible who were ordinary but achieved extra-ordinary things with God

Unlikely Heroes

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

Joshua 3:5, Daniel 11:32, Ephesians 3:20 ?

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) –

We all face the God ordained moments in time where His plan and your life cross – TODAY could possibly be one of those days!

Isaiah 55:8 “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.

• God doesn’t work like you and me – His ways are on a different plain than ours

WHY YOU? THE PARTNERSHIP

• Simon PARTNERS with Jesus to help carry his cross

• We all have to carry the cross of Jesus!

Matthew 16:24 – “If anyone wishes to come after ME, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow ME.”

• “deny Himself” – Selflessness – putting others in front of yourself – The HERO comes out…the EXTRA-ordinary happens when we look out for someone in need rather than our own needs – the difference b/w Ord. and extra-ord. just a little EXTRA.

• Simon probably had heard about Jesus – but now he was faced with a need

Who has God brought in your path that needs you!

• God is compelling you to help them –

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