a moment with Jesus carrying the cross

  • Published on:  3/31/2021
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    ▶︎ Luke 23: 26-31 (NRSV-CE)
    As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

    ▶︎ Psalm 88 (NLT-CE)
    1 O Lord, God of my salvation,
    I cry out to you by day.
    I come to you at night.
    2 Now hear my prayer;
    listen to my cry.
    3 For my life is full of troubles,
    and death draws near.
    4 I am as good as dead,
    like a strong man with no strength left.
    5 They have left me among the dead,
    and I lie like a corpse in a grave.
    I am forgotten,
    cut off from your care.
    6 You have thrown me into the lowest pit,
    into the darkest depths.
    7 Your anger weighs me down;
    with wave after wave you have engulfed me. Interlude
    8 You have driven my friends away
    by making me repulsive to them.
    I am in a trap with no way of escape.
    9 My eyes are blinded by my tears.
    Each day I beg for your help, O Lord;
    I lift my hands to you for mercy.
    10 Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead?
    Do the dead rise up and praise you? Interlude
    11 Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love?
    Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction?
    12 Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds?
    Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness?
    13 O Lord, I cry out to you.
    I will keep on pleading day by day.
    14 O Lord, why do you reject me?
    Why do you turn your face from me?
    15 I have been sick and close to death since my youth.
    I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors.
    16 Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me.
    Your terrors have paralyzed me.
    17 They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long.
    They have engulfed me completely.
    18 You have taken away my companions and loved ones.
    Darkness is my closest friend.

    In carrying the cross, Jesus carries the oppression of sin & suffering weighing down our souls and our bodies. Our Lord, exhausted from the sham trial and weakened from loss of blood, now makes his way to Calvary. He falls under the weight of the cross. Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the countryside is made to help him. In helping Jesus carry the cross, Simon reminds us that WE ought to help Jesus carry the cross. The sure sign of a Christian is one who carries their cross daily and follows Jesus. If we unite our sufferings and sorrows, and even our death to Christ, he shall transform them into blessed joy and life everlasting.

    ▶︎Let us pray:
    Lord Jesus, you carried your cross to lift the oppressive weight of sin and suffering off our shoulders. Help us, we pray, to see the oppressive yoke still upon so many shoulders in the world, and grant us the strength to alleviate such suffering, so that like Simon, we may carry the cross following you to do the Father’s will. Amen.