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Bearing the Cross: Lessons from Simon of Cyrene – A Daily Devotion

Scripture: Mark 15:21-41 (NIV)

21 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.

22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).

23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.

24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.

26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.

29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,

30 come down from the cross and save yourself!”

31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!

32 Let this messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.

34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome.

41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.


The narrative of Simon of Cyrene’s encounter with Jesus is a poignant reminder of unexpected encounters with divine purpose. As we journey towards Easter, let us glean lessons from Simon’s experience and reflect on the profound significance of bearing the cross.

1. Divine Appointments: Simon, a passerby from Cyrene, was unexpectedly pulled into the most pivotal moment in human history. Similarly, in our lives, God orchestrates divine appointments and invites us to participate in His redemptive work. Let us be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and willing to respond to God’s call, even when it disrupts our plans.

2. Sharing in Christ’s Suffering: As Simon bore the weight of Jesus’ cross, he shared in Christ’s suffering in a tangible way. Likewise, as followers of Christ, we are called to embrace the reality of bearing our crosses daily. Though our burdens may differ, we find strength and solidarity in knowing that Christ empathizes with our struggles and carries us through every trial.

3. The Cross as a Symbol of Sacrifice and Redemption: At Golgotha, Jesus endured excruciating pain and humiliation as He was crucified for the sins of humanity. His sacrifice paved the way for our redemption and reconciliation with God. As we contemplate the cross, may we grasp the depth of God’s love and the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

4. Witnessing the Crucifixion: Amidst the darkness and despair of Calvary, faithful witnesses like the women from Galilee stood vigil at the foot of the cross. Their presence underscores the importance of bearing witness to the truth of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. May we, too, stand firm in our faith and testify to the power of the cross to transform lives.

5. The Centurion’s Confession: The centurion’s declaration, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” echoes throughout the ages as a testament to the profound impact of Jesus’ sacrificial death. May we, like the centurion, acknowledge Christ’s divinity and surrender our lives wholeheartedly to Him.

As we meditate on the events leading up to Easter, may we embrace the call to bear our crosses with courage and humility, knowing that through Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been granted eternal life and redemption. Amen.