What mark has the cross made on my life? Yes, through the power of the cross, I’ve been offered forgiveness and eternal life through Christ. But what about the weight of the cross? Do I feel the weight of the cross each day? How does the weight of the cross change the way I live?
The African, Simon the Cyrene, who was pulled from the crowd to carry Jesus’ cross, was a father of two sons, Alexander and Rufus. Why is this mentioned? Why do we know their names? How would this event impact these three men?
Cyrene was in Libya in North Africa. It was a Greek colony where 100,000 Jews had been forced to settle. It would become an early center of Christianity.
Acts 11:20 speaks of “men of Cyrene” who preached the Gospel to the Greeks. This could have been Simon, maybe even his sons.
In Romans 16:13 Paul mentions Rufus, “chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me too.”
Tradition states that Rufus and Alexander became missionaries.
Simon shared in the sufferings of Christ. He experienced the cross. He felt the weight of it. He witnessed the Savior obediently giving up his life.
Encountering the power of the cross transforms people. How could it not transform Simon? How could it not transform his family?
Is it this simple? The closer we get to the cross, the more we feel its weight, the more it transforms us.
I want my life to be marked by the weight of the cross. I want it to be felt in the decisions I make, the words I speak and the steps I take.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24
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