Summary: Re-examining the great weight of following the Lord
Matthew 27:32-33 (NIV2011)
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).
Matthew 16:24 (NIV2011)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
We find this story in two other gospels and I would like to read these accounts of this story as well.
Mark 15:21 (NIV2011)
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.
Luke 23:26 (NIV2011)
As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
Our society has greatly diminished what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
When we choose to become a disciple of Jesus Christ, we assume quite a weight on our shoulders…
Simon was from a country named Cyrene which is today’s Tripoli. He was doing what the rest of the Jewish world was doing…taking a pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival.
The timing of this was anything but “convenient” for him.
We make a terrible mistake in trying to fit Jesus into our lives. We actually need to fit our lives into Jesus.
A life a following Jesus does not allow for comfort zones
Choosing to follow Jesus will not always be convenient…at times is will be disruptive.
Look at the moments the followers of God were disrupted:
Peter, Andew, James, John — Matt 4
Ananias to pray for Saul — Acts 9
Paul shipwrecked — Acts 27
Jesus interrupted a funeral — Luke 7
The cross was heavy! Some say that His cross may have weighed over 300 lbs
It took a lot of work and exertion to carry Jesus’ cross.
As in any relationship, the key to its success is work…hard, disciplined work.
Exodus 40:33-34 (NIV2011)
33 …And so Moses finished the work.
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
When Moses finished the hard work of building the tabernacle, THEN the glory of the Lord appeared
I honestly think we need a good reality check when it comes to following the Lord and trying to become like Him:
It requires reordering our priorities, our schedules, our finances.
It demands changing our mindsets and actions.
It means spending more than five minutes a day with Him.
It requires pushing past our doubts, fears and distractions to connect with this Person we cannot see.
Simon was not a willing volunteer…no doubt he was threatened to do this — or else
They “seized him” and they “made him.” Luke 23:26
One wonders if Simon was fearful about his future. What would happen to him?
James 4:13-15 (NIV2011)
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.”
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
Following Jesus will sometimes put you in a place where you are unable to see the finish line
None of this was done in secret. It was all very public.
Do the people around you know you are a follower of Jesus?
Becoming a follower of Jesus is embracing a life of publicity
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV2011)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
So after all of this, some people would ask, “Why is it all worth it?”
Look back to the story of Simon. His act led to the greatest demonstration of love mankind has every seen.
Your dedication to Jesus leads to the greatest demonstration of love mankind has ever seen.
The value of carrying the cross is far greater than the cost!