March 13, 2016: Changed for Good, Simon of Cyrene

Posted on : Mar 10th, 2016 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Pastor Dan has been leading a Lenten Series titled, “Changed for Good,” as we prepare for the coming of Christ this Easter. This Fifth Sunday of Lent, we will continue the series, looking particularly at the life of Simon of Cyrene in Mark 15:21-39.

In the story, Jesus is about to be crucified. The soldiers mock Jesus, placing a purple cloak on him and saluting him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” After mocking him, they strip Jesus and lead him out to crucify him. The cross must have been a bit too much for Jesus to carry, so the soldiers compel a person passing by to help carry his cross. This man was named Simon of Cyrene. Simon must not have had much of a choice in the matter when soldiers asked, or rather told him what to do. I can almost imagine Simon thinking or even saying, “What have I done? Why me? I don’t even know him, he is not my friend, I have only heard about him.” Simon eventually takes up the cross. It’s covered with the blood of Jesus. His blood must have run all over Simon. Looking upon Jesus in that moment, seeing his eyes, touching his blood, carrying his cross, and then being there when Jesus was crucified, must have been such a transformational moment in the life of Simon of Cyrene that changed him for good. It would not only change Simon’s life but it would impact his family’s life as well. Simon’s son, Rufus, would even be called into the ministry, as mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:13.

This story can call us to reflect on how we handle carrying our crosses, or better yet, the unexpected crosses of others that may come into our lives. Perhaps, just as Simon, those unexpected crosses that we help to carry for others, may just be the ones that most impact our lives and change us for good. Join us this Sunday as we look at the life of Simon of Cyrene and how he was changed for good.

Lenten blessings,

Jerod Yates

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Mark 15:21-39

21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.

25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

 

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