What do we know of him? I am not referring to the Simon Peter we all know so well, but to Simon of Cyrene who carried Christ’s cross.
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. (Mark 15:21, NIV)
Simon had traveled with his sons, nearly a thousand miles to be in Jerusalem for Passover. Odd that his children are mentioned, don’t you think? That’s because the story perhaps continues later in scripture.
I think of the boys as being little but perhaps they were nearly-grown men. We do not know for sure. You might wonder at my addressing these Easter issues so late in the season but it is relevant to the story.
It is not a stretch to presume that both Simon and his children would be questioned later by bystanders and even by the disciples, though we have no record of it.
Surely people would want to know things like…what was it like to carry the cross for Christ? Did you really believe he was who he said? What did you boys say? Did the Christ say anything to you?
Much later Paul speaks of a Rufus who might be one of Simon’s boys.
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. (Romans 16:13, NIV)
Paul gives no other explanation, which leaves scholars wondering that the family was so well known for their participation in the crucifixion that no more information was needed.
What did you do when presented with the cross? Like Simon, did you welcome the Christ or reject him? It is not too late to make the right decision.
Prayer- Father God, push us toward the truth of the cross that we might be known for our connection to the Saviour. Amen.