Summary: Life circumstances may be so that not only do we not ask for a cross but also we may not have a choice in whether we bear it or not.

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The Unexpected Cross

Pastor Ken Crow

Matthew 27:32 (King James Version)

32And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

In our Christian life there are many crosses.

There is our cross that Jesus says we must bear if we are to be his disciple.

Matthew 16:24 (King James Version)

24Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Jesus speaks here of the cross of self sacrifice for the sake of the kingdom.

Matthew 10:38 (King James Version)

38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

The crucifixion of the flesh that Paul talks about in 1st Corinthians 15:31.

As a Christian we anticipate those crosses. We know they are part of our walk through this world. We know they will be there because the Word of God says they will be.

Let’s look this morning at a man who encountered a cross that he never expected to meet.

Cyrene was over 1,000 miles from Jerusalem. Simon never even dreamed about what was to take place. What he was even doing there we really do not know. But what we do know is that he was in his appointed place at the appointed time .

1. Simon of Cyrene was positioned by divine appointment.

Many times in life we question why we are in the place that we are in.

In Simons case he was placed in Jerusalem by The Father , God to help bear the cross of Jesus.

A. God seen something in Simon that made him the right choice.

The right man for the job.

B. Simon was physically able to bear the cross.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (King James Version)

13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

c. Simon being there that day was part of God’s plan for the future.

Mark 15:21 (King James Version)

21And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

The only other thing we know for sure is that

he was the “father of Alexander and Rufus”

That suggests that his family was known to the early Church by name:

so perhaps his experience on the road to Golgotha

led Simon and his family to become Christians themselves.

Romans 16:13 (King James Version)

13Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Early traditions maintain that Simon of Cyrene’s family became faithful Christians.

2. Simon did not expect nor choose this cross.

In fact the Bible says he was “compelled” to carry it.

We may not be ask to bear certain crosses but rather we may not have a choice.

Life circumstances may be so that not only do we not ask for a cross but also we may not have a choice in whether we bear it or not.

Simon had absolutely no voice in the matter.

The soldiers did not politely ask “ Simon our buddy, will you please bear this cross”?

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