Day 4: Simon of Cyrene
Devotional by Alex Jones
Read Luke 23:26
“And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus.”
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.
Life is full of interruptions. On a daily basis, we face decisions, situations, and circumstances that we don’t expect. We can all relate to feeling flustered or thrown off when our life doesn’t happen according to plan. As Christians, we are reminded throughout Scripture that we are not in control—we may plan our way, but God establishes our steps. Although the Bible is clear that we should expect the unexpected, we still sometimes find ourselves reluctant to the ways of God. We so often forget that our all-powerful God is on the throne intentionally directing our path. God can use even the seemingly mundane to change our lives. This was just the case for a man named Simon from Cyrene.
On his journey to Jerusalem for Passover, Simon was interrupted by Roman soldiers who seized him and commanded him to carry the cross of Jesus. This abrupt burden placed on Simon was surely frustrating and inconvenient but ultimately led to an intimate encounter with Jesus. As Simon picked up the blood-stained cross, he experienced the presence of the Son of God. He heard the words of Jesus as he spoke truth to the crowd who followed him. He experienced Jesus’ humility as Jesus surrendered Himself to God’s will. Most importantly, we are told that Simon followed behind Jesus. Simon was the first to live out the calling to “take up his cross” and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24-26). Simon walked away from his encounter with Jesus knowing Him more deeply and following Him more closely.
Simon’s encounter led to deeper intimacy with his Creator. In the same way, when we are faced with unexpected interruptions, we may also be just one moment away from knowing God more deeply. His ways are not our ways as He is intentionally working through every area of our lives. The same God who ordained Simon’s steps continues to go before each of us. No matter the difficulty or burden placed on us, Jesus promises that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. So, in the midst of your next frustrating interruption, seek to understand how God may be at work in you. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control our response.
1. When you feel interrupted or inconvenienced, what is your natural response? What steps can you take to trust God in those moments?
2. How are you following Jesus daily?
3. What areas of your life hinder you from following him fully?
Lord, I pray that my encounters with You would lead to a more intimate and personal relationship with You. Help me to seek You regardless of my burdens. As I deny myself and follow You, I will trust and believe that Your way is better. May I draw near to You as You draw near to me. Lead me to look more like You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.