Morning, April 5, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.” — Luke 23:26
We see a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations in Simon’s carrying the cross; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer in order to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that and expect to suffer.
But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are mistreated for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mocking upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!
You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of his blood red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. It is his cross, and he goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow him.
Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly, it is so with you; you only carry the light end of the cross; Christ bore the heavier end.
And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honor. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely, we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us “an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison.”