Complete exhaustion. My body lay lifelessly in the chair, not having the energy to even pick up my phone to read the text that came through. For 3 days I had felt this way and knew it would only get worse.
Shaun and I both had it and were miserable, but at least we were together. All the while, I felt my responsibilities weighing heavy on me. Who will do this? And who will take care of that?
Without question or suggestion, my mother-in-law stepped right in and began cooking. Even if we couldn’t taste a thing, she was going to make sure we had food to keep us going. Neither one of us felt like eating, but knew that we had to in order to keep up some sort of strength.
She stepped in and did what I could not.
And two weeks later, I did the same for her.
“And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.” (Matthew 27:32)
Jesus was beaten so badly that He physically could not carry the cross. Someone had to step in and bear this heavy burden.
Not much is known about Simon, this man who carried the cross for Jesus. Here we see that he was from Cyrene, which was in Northern Africa. And Mark tells us he had two sons, Alexander and Rufus, perhaps mentioned because they became known in the early church. But there’s nothing else written about this man chosen to bear the cross for Jesus.
I wonder what was going through his mind. He was there in Jerusalem for the Passover, a celebration of mercy from God for sparing their lives because their doorposts were covered in the blood of the sacrificial lamb. Did he recognize just who Jesus was? Did he feel anything towards the man? Did he argue about having to carry it? Or was there pity in his eyes as he took the weight off of His bloody and torn back?
While we do not know all of those answers, we do know that Simon did what Jesus couldn’t in that moment.
And just days later, Jesus would do the same for Simon, and every soul on the earth.
Jesus was crucified. He gave His life on the cross. He bore the weight of our sins. He was buried and three days later, the stone was rolled away and the tomb was empty. Jesus defeated death for us!
He did what we could not!
Why? Because he loves us.
We are to follow His example and bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Sometimes it takes more than just praying for someone. Prayer is the best tool we have in fighting any battle, but sometimes you need to step in and physically help on their behalf. If there is a need, step in and fill it.
Jesus did that for you. He didn’t ask if you wanted Him to, He just did. And today, He offers to bear your burdens if you will only accept His invitation.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
He’s here. He’s offering to take that burden of sin from you. He wants to lift that from your back because it’s not yours to bear. Don’t hold onto it. Let it go. Let Jesus help you in your greatest need. Let Him do for you what you can’t.