People can be so hurtful. We hear so much about bullying these days, it’s frightful. Kids can be so mean to each other. Why is that? And in today’s story, I always puzzle at the shouts and taunts of the people. So crude and rude. But there was one hero in the crowd that day, Simon. He took the weight of the cross off Jesus’ weary shoulders. He may have been “forced” but I imagine he was also blessed.
Jesus wasn’t your common criminal. He wasn’t a criminal at all. Yet here, even the criminals ridiculed him. Oh the ignorance.
As we’ve been walking with Jesus through the book of Mark on his journey to Jerusalem, I hope that you, too, have taken a fresh look at a familiar story. I find myself expecting to see Easter lilies and pastel colors in the stores. Yet as I write this, we are approaching Thanksgiving, and instead poinsettias are all around.
The truth is that we should have Easter faith year round. To muster up the joy and gratitude, we first need to walk with Jesus and remember. The Easter story is so much more powerful when we recall the extreme struggle, the torture, the bullying, not to mention the pain and agony that came first. We need to really feel it along with Jesus, just like he has experienced and felt all of our emotions firsthand.
Jesus came to earth stripped of his divinity but was majestic until the final moment. He took our sins, our guilt, and our shame respectfully to the cross. He did not put up a fuss, he did not lash out, he simply went. He went to the cross for us.
Let’s pray. Father I really struggle with those final moments of Jesus’ earthly life. But it was all part of your plan in some way. Your Word was being fulfilled all over the place. It’s good for me to remember how this chapter closes. I come with a grateful heart, struggling to find words to describe the depth of my devotion, thankfulness and trust. Guide me this day. Watch over my wonderful family today and bless our time together in the days ahead. In Jesus’ name. Amen.