What must it have been like to be the one chosen. The one called. What must he have felt to see all eyes directed towards him. The crowds roaring. Voices heard all around. People of all ages out the see the event. In the midst of the voices was a call directed towards him. I imagine his first response was, “Who? Me?” As he looked to his left and to his right thinking the honor must be directed at someone else, another direct call came his way.
Compelled by the call, he probably thought his calling would be different. Maybe not as dramatic but different just the same. He found himself answering the call in the midst of countless people. Everyone in different stages of emotion. Some cheering, Some shouting. Some confused; and yes, some were crying. You see, this call was not to lead a church, or receive a promotion in a corporation. It was not an award presented in front of the cameras or a celebration for winning the lottery. Instead, it was something much greater, more important and life changing. The person who received the call was Simon. He was in the crowd watching as Jesus carried the cross to be crucified. Simon probably intended to come out and get a look at Jesus and the commotion that had turned the city upside down. Little did he know that his life would be changed forever.
He met Jesus at what seemed like his lowest point; but it was actually one of the highest and most loving points in His earthly ministry. You see, Simon saw up close the abuse Jesus endured, yet He did not complain. Simon saw Jesus’ faith in His Father and the drive to fulfill His purpose. Additionally, he saw Jesus look at the people in love instead of anger.
Simon must have wondered why He would endure such agony. Jesus endured it so that Simon would not have to endure it. I’m sure, to the extent possible, Jesus lovingly smiled at Simon even when he had little physical energy remaining in Him. Simon did not know that he was fulfilling Matthew 16:24. At that moment, Simon carried the cross and is forever identified with Jesus. It was probably true that initially he felt forced by the Roman guard to carry the cross but I believe it became an honor for him. It wasn’t a random occurrence that Simon was at the event and selected to carry the cross. It was ordained from the beginning that he would meet his Savior although this was probably not the manner he imagined.
Today, Jesus reminds us daily of His love for us. He has gone through extremes just to provide a way for each of us to come to Him. His love is never ending. He has paid the price and is now waiting for your response. Surrender your life to Jesus and gain eternal life with Him.
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[e] (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.