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
The synoptic gospels mention Simon from Cyrene. Coming from Cyrene, a north African town on the Mediterranean, this man most likely came in from a nearby lodging, showing up at the site where Jesus was being led out for crucifixion. We don’t know much about this man nor his sons. There is mention in Paul’s letter to the Romans of a Christian named Rufus. Acts speaks of a Simon. It is possible since Mark’s gospel was originally written for the Christians in Rome that these are one and the same individuals, but we cannot be certain.
Just as Christ was weak from the scourging He had faced, and needed assistance in carrying the cross, we at times are weak in carrying our cross for the Lord. Instead of giving up on carrying it, we must turn to the Lord for strength. We are not forced to carry the cross, it must be our choice to do so. This does not mean though that we don’t need help or encouragement in order to do so. As we need Christ in all we do to be a Christian, we also need Him in carrying our cross as a follower of the Lord. Allow Him to strengthen you in so doing.