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Carrying The Cross

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Carrying He went out to what is called Skull Place, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.
John 19:17 HCSB
When Jesus took up His cross, He was carrying more than wood. Unknown to the many spectators that day, Jesus was carrying the sins of mankind, facing the punishment those sins deserved, which He was about to suffer on man's behalf. Jesus exhorts us in Matthew 16:24, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." He also reveals that this is not an option: "...and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38). Taking up our cross, an instrument of death, means dying to self in order to live as completely new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17) in service and obedience to Christ. This means surrendering to God our will, our affections, our ambitions, and our desires. We are not to seek our own happiness as the supreme object, but be willing to renounce all and lay down our lives also, if required.
As they led Him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26 HCSB
Simon of Cyrene might be considered a victim of circumstance. He had most likely come to Jerusalem for the Passover festivities and probably knew little about the proceedings at hand. We know very little about Simon of Cyrene since he is not mentioned in the Bible after he helped to carry the cross upon which Jesus would be nailed (Luke 23:26). Ordered to help by the Roman soldiers, Simon did not resist, most likely fearing for his own life in light of the situation at hand. Unlike Jesus, who carried His cross willingly, Simon of Cyrene was "compelled" or forced to carry it. As Christians, we are to join Jesus in His suffering willingly, as Paul exhorts us, "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God" (2 Timothy 1:8).
A large crowd of people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him. Luke 23:27 HCSB
When Jesus encountered the weeping women and some of His disciples on His way to crucifixion, He cautioned them that they should not weep for Him, but that their concerns should be for themselves and the lives of their children considering the rising evil throughout Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31). The same caution is relevant for Christians today that we should be careful not to allow our concerns for this world to come before our devotion and obedience to God. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36), and as citizens of heaven, our focus and attention should be there. 
Pastor Jeff
Posted by Jeff Williamson with

The Events the Proceeded the Cross

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 But Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. Luke 22:60

When Jesus was arrested, a number of those present at the time accused Peter of being one of Jesus' followers (Luke 22:54-62). As previously predicted by Jesus, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. Peter was Jesus' beloved and trusted disciple who witnessed many miracles firsthand, even walking on water with Jesus (Matthew 14:29-31).  

and said to them, "You have brought me this man as one who subverts the people.  But in fact, after examining Him in your presence, I have found no grounds  to charge this man with those things you accuse Him of. Luke 23:14

By today's legal standards, it is unlikely that Jesus would have been convicted in any court, especially since no real evidence against Him could be produced. Pontius Pilate could find no fault in anything Jesus had done and wanted to release Him (Luke 23:13-24), but the Sanhedrin demanded that Pilate order His execution.
Even today, the message of salvation by the power and choice of God, not by our own efforts, is unpopular. Human beings in their fallen nature always want to achieve their own salvation, or at least have a part in it, so we can claim at least a part of the glory. But salvation is of the Lord, who shares His glory with no one (Isaiah 42:8). 
The men who were holding Jesus started mocking and beating Him. Luke 22:63

Over five hundred years before Mary gave birth to Jesus, Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be wounded for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:3-6) and bruised for our inequities and that by His stripes we would be healed.  
Pastor Jeff
Posted by Jeff Williamson with

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