Take up Your Cross and Follow Me

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance that race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls, For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross.” Matthew 27:32

I awoke this morning with these verses repeating through my mind. In my minds eye I could see it.

Jesus carrying His cross, His body already wounded and dripping and slippery with the sweat and blood and the tears pouring out, His legs buckling under the weight of His cross, under the weight of our sin, the weight of our shame, the weight of our brokenness, the weight of our suffering, the weight of our cares. The weight of the whole world from the beginning to the end, past present and future.

He could have carried His cross alone. He really could have, He had it within Him and still has it within Him to carry His cross alone. But He knew we needed Simon of Cyrene’s example. And oh to be Simon.

I can see it, Simon picking up the cross and following Jesus. Jesus’ blood already pouring down the cross and Simon’s grip gets slippery. Simon the first to receive a covering of Jesus’ blood. Simon the first to pick up the cross and follow Him.

Though the weight is enormous, Jesus still says today “cast it on Me, cast it all on Me, cast every weight on Me, I can still bear the weight of it all, it’s not yours to carry, I can handle it, My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.

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