They pressed (forced) into service a passer-by coming from the country. Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross. (Mark 15:21 NASV)
Simon had done no wrong. No charges were leveled against him. No criminal record. No history of violence. No strike breaker. Nothing to cause the soldiers to pick him out of the crowd. He wasn't a native of Jerusalem. Cyrene was his home. He apparently came in from the country to do business or shop. He had no clue as to what the commotion was all about. He was just an innocent bystander. Was it just a coincidence that the soldiers chose him out of the crowd axnd forced him to carry the cross? Was he simply at the wrong place at the wrong time? No, thousand times, No! God never causes accidents -- only incidents. Everything God engineers has an eternal purpose. After all, He is Sovereign.
What affect do you think this incident had on Simon the Cyrenian? Was he appalled at the appearance of Jesus' condition? His face marred, his back lacerated, his beard plucked out, his head bloody from the crown of thorns, his body emaciated. What affect would that have had on you, if you were in his shoes?
Jesus never cried out. Not a word was uttered. No moaning or groaning. No pleas for help. OH, but his eyes. There were the eyes of a Savior King. Eyes of compassion, love, sadness, and concern. Simon saw it all. He was a part of the crucifixion. He saw them nail Jesus to the cross. Yes, he saw it all.
How did he respond? How would you have responded? Would you weep, wail, cry out in agony, or would you jeer and mock like the rest of the crowd? We aren't told how Simon responded, but I believe that he fell down at the foot of the cross in humble worship of the King. What do you think?
Thought for the Day: God is still choosing innocent bystanders to accomplish his will.