Bible story - Jesus carries his cross
For many Christians, Jesus's sacrificial death on the cross is the main event in God's strategy to save and restore the world. To them, the fact that Jesus carried his cross is only incidental. They miss the point of Worth Season.
The cross was a multi-purpose event with multi-layered meaning. Many people miss the layer that relates to the shaming of Jesus. They know he was shamed, but they don't take it seriously because it does not affect what matters to them--that Jesus's blood paid the penalty for our sin. It shows what we are worth to him, the price he was willing to pay to free us. His blood would have done that whether he was shamed or not.
But what if we slow down for a closer look? What if we focus on Jesus not only as our substitute hanging on the cross but also as our example in carrying it? When Jesus pays for our sin, he is the giver and we are the receivers, but when he shows us how to carry our cross, he and we are in this together.
If we are going to be worthy followers of his, we need to do more than register for the benefits of his suffering. We need to pay much closer attention to him as he carried the cross. And in fact, as we see in the story below, he had been beaten too badly to be able to carry it very far. The soldiers forced a bystander to carry it for him.
Here is the story of Jesus as a worthy finisher.
Jesus carries his cross
Mark 15.15-21 The Message
15 Pilate gave the crowd what it wanted, set Barabbas free and turned Jesus over for whipping and crucifixion.
16-20 The soldiers took Jesus into the palace (called Praetorium) and called together the entire brigade. They dressed him up in purple and put a crown plaited from a thornbush on his head. Then they began their mockery: “Bravo, King of the Jews!” They banged on his head with a club, spit on him, and knelt down in mock worship. After they had had their fun, they took off the purple cape and put his own clothes back on him. Then they marched out to nail him to the cross.
21 There was a man walking by, coming from work, Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. They made him carry Jesus’ cross.
Jesus carries his cross
(same story as above, but in the New Living Translation)
15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.
16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. 18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.
21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.)