It was only the third time I was watching Mel Gibson’s classic the passion of the Christ, but it was the first time a little known player in the Good Friday’s epic caught my attention. His name was Simon… for some strange unknown reason I had the notion he was a willing volunteer in this eternal life changing drama. However when his character was forced to carry the cross I had to search the scriptures, to find truth and erase my false ideology.
“ Then they (the soldiers) compelled a certain man, Simon a cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His (Jesus) cross” Mark 15:21 brackets mine
Simon was just an ordinary guy passing by, going about his business. Maybe he didn’t believe in Jesus. Perhaps he gave little thought to religion; maybe he wasn’t even a temple faithful. Maybe he even cursed at the idea of helping out a condemned common criminal. God was being crucified, the hosts of heaven stood still watching and this was just passing by, taking a walk into the country. Sounds like a nice and simple guy, not one to get to involve with politics and religious dogma.
But I wander if he knew…
Did he realize that as he carried the cross of the Nazarene he was becoming a part of eternity?
Did he know that because he carried the cross for my master, I live in the freedom the cross brings?
Did he know that such a seemingly infinitesimal gesture would be enshrined on the sands of eternity?
Did he know that this gospel would not be preached without mention of Simon the cyrenian, father of Alexander and Rufus?
I doubt if he did, because the truth is that we don’t just get it. It’s hard to grasp the dynamic treasure eternity has in store for our little deeds.
I wander if we realize how the little stuff we do will speak beyond our days and through eternity.
We’re just ordinary folks just passing by, but sometimes we are compelled by someone or something to stop…and we stop, so that we can give a cup of water in the master’s name. Maybe we stop to share a word of encouragement. Sometimes we can’t find the right words to say, because we’re not eloquent bible scholars. We’re simple folks who haven’t got all the answers, but we stop to hold the hands of a friend or stranger in pain. Sometimes we stop just to hug someone…
Sometimes, maybe it’s love that compels us. Apostle Paul, the skilled wordsmith with the pen of a ready writer, puts it in his characteristic style:
“ For the love of Christ compels us because we judge thus that if one died for all, then all died;” 2 Corinthians 5:14
In our busy world, struggling to cope with the pressures of home, work, school and church stuff His love compels us to stop as we pass by. Maybe a smile, a warm bowl of soup is all we think we can offer… so we do the little we can do.
And who knows what part we have played in heaven’s eternal scheme.
We may never know until that glorious day when a complete stranger walks up to you during the bride supper of the lamb, just to say thank you! You don’t remember what you did but he or she says to you “I’m here because you showed love to me at a time when…you helped me carry my cross.” It gives me a feeling that heaven will be exciting…
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Thank you. I really needed that little reminder that my deeds, no matter how small they may be, are never in vain... to just keep on keeping on... to stop and offer a drink as I'm passing by. Thank you again, so, so much for sharing your heart.