"And as they led Him away, they laid hold upon one Simon,
a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid
the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus." (Luke 23:26)
~ ~ ~ ~
We see in Simon carrying the cross
a picture of the work of the Church
throughout all generations;
she is the cross-bearer after Jesus.
Mark then, Christian,
Jesus does not suffer so as
to exclude your suffering.
He bears a cross,
not that you may escape it,
but that you may endure it.
Christ exempts you from sin,
but not from sorrow.
and expect to suffer.
Let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case,
as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we
carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion
brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is
not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful it is to carry
the cross of our Lord Jesus!
*You carry the cross after Him. You have blessed company; your
path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of His
blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. ‘Tis His cross, and He
goes before you as a shepherd goes before His sheep.
Take up your cross daily, and follow Him. Do not forget, also, that
you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon
only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very
possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse
beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end.
Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross,
Christ bore the heavier end. And remember, though Simon had to bear the
cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honor.
Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we
shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and,
instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us
"a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” CH Spurgeon.
* How appropriate for today is this morning's devotional!
(For the past 230 some years, believers and churches in the United States
enjoyed the blessing of Constitutional protection to practice and live
their Biblical faith as they were convicted by the Holy Spirit. There
has historically been very little religious persecution, but we are seeing
a rapid change in America. We witness the courts and the lawmakers
today ruling and legislating against God, against God's law, against public
prayer, against life yet unborn, against marriage and promoting and
legalizing unspeakable evil. Government in just the past 6 years mandates
Christians be taxed to fund womb murder, taxed to pay for contraception
for the whores across our land, to participate in same-sex so called
marriages or be bankrupted and their businesses closed. I fully expect to
soon see the KJV 1611 becoming a prohibited book for any church to
operate with permission of government. The world tells us to stock-up on
gold and silver, food and water. May I suggest my brethren that you
purchase a dozen Bibles before they become a banned book as the Bible
has always been banned in every land ruled by tyrants. Unless we soon
experience the Rapture of the saints, we are certain to bear the cross after
Christ, heavier than any American has ever carried.) (rle)