What Jesus Did! 'Carrying the Cross!' — Mark 15:21

Sunday, December 4, 2016

There was a man from Cyrene walking into the city. The man was Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was walking into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus.
— Mark 15:21
Illustration of Mark 15:21 —  The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus.

Key Thought

Jesus told his followers, including those of us who follow him today, that we needed to pick up our crosses and follow him. While Simon was forced to physically carry Jesus' cross to Golgotha, he also apparently picked up the Cross spiritually because his sons, Alexander and Rufus, are known in the Christian community Mark is addressing. Paul also seems to know one of the sons, Rufus, and Paul describes him as one "whom the Lord picked out to be his very own." (Rom. 16:13 NLT) This is a great reminder that if we want to share our faith with our children, "carrying the cross" is the powerful example that helps them follow in our footsteps as we follow in Jesus' steps!

Today's Prayer

O Father God, please help me live as a powerful example before those in my family. May they clearly see that I don't just "talk the talk," but that I also "walk the walk." Give me courage as I genuinely commit to carry the cross each day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Pilate's soldiers brought Jesus into the governor's palace (called the Praetorium). They called all the other soldiers together. The soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. Then they used thorny weeds to make a crown. They put the crown of thorns on Jesus' head. Then they called to Jesus. They said, "Hello, king of the Jews!" The soldiers hit Jesus on the head many times with a stick. They also spit on him. Then {they teased Jesus by} bowing on their knees and worshiping him. After they finished teasing Jesus, the soldiers took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led Jesus out of the palace to be killed on a cross. There was a man from Cyrene walking into the city. The man was Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was walking into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. They led Jesus to the place called Golgotha. (Golgotha means "The Place of the Skull.") At Golgotha the soldiers tried to give Jesus wine to drink. This wine was mixed with myrrh. But Jesus refused to drink it. The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross. Then the soldiers divided Jesus' clothes among themselves. They gambled with dice to decide which clothes each soldier would get. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they nailed Jesus to the cross. There was a sign with the charge against Jesus written on it. The sign said: "THE KING OF THE JEWS." They also put two robbers on crosses beside Jesus. They put one robber beside Jesus on the right, and they put the other robber beside Jesus on the left. People walked by and said bad things to Jesus. They shook their heads and said, "You said you could destroy the temple and build it again in three days. So save yourself! Come down from that cross!" The leading priests and the teachers of the law were also there. They teased Jesus the same as the other people did. They said to themselves, "He saved other people. But he can't save himself. If he is really the Christ, the king ofIsrael (the Jews), then he should {save himself by} coming down from the cross now. We will see this, and then we will believe in him." The robbers that were being killed on the crosses beside Jesus also said bad things to him.

Mark 15:16-32

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus warned them not to tell anyone. Then Jesus said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things. He will be rejected by the older Jewish leaders, the leading priests, and teachers of the law. The Son of Man will be killed. But after three days he will be raised from death." Jesus continued to say to all of them, "If any person wants to follow me, he must say 'No' to the things he wants. That person must accept the cross (suffering) that is given to him every day, and he must follow me.

Luke 9:21-23

"These are the commands, the laws, and the rules that the Lord your God told me to teach you. Obey these laws in the land that you are entering to live in. You and your descendants must respect the Lord your God as long as you live. You must obey all his laws and commands that I give you. If you do this, then you will have a long life in that new land. People of Israel, listen carefully and obey these laws. Then everything will be fine with you. You will have many children, and you will get the land filled with many good things —just like the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised. "Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is one! You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Always remember these commands that I give you today. Be sure to teach them to your children. Talk about these commands when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up. {Write these commands and} tie them on your hands and wear them on your foreheads to help you remember {my teachings}. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Say hello to Rufus. He is a special person in the Lord. Say hello to his mother. She has been a mother to me also.

Romans 16:13

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.