It is only one verse in the Bible, but it speaks volumes.  A man called Simon of Cyrene was pulled out of the crowd and forced to carry Jesus’ cross for him.  Two lessons:

First, Jesus died for Simon.  We don’t know much about the life of Simon of Cyrene.  We just have this one verse to work with.  The only thing we can say for certain about Simon is that he was a sinner.  We know he was a sinner because he was a descendant of Adam, as we all are.  And Jesus died for him.  Jesus died for all people, because that was God’s way of forgiving our sins and restoring people to a right relationship with their Creator.  Jesus died for everyone, including the man who carried his cross to the site of his execution.

Second, Simon helped Jesus fulfill his mission.  Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient for our salvation.  There is nothing we need to add to it.  Having established that, and without detracting from it, Jesus wants us forgiven sinners to join him in his work.  That is why the church is called the body of Christ.  We are the presence of Jesus in the world today.  We continue what he started.  Every follower of Jesus has their own unique way of serving him.  For Simon, that meant carrying Jesus’ cross.

In our sermon this Sunday, we will continue our series, “Understanding the Cross,” and talk about what it means to carry Jesus’ cross for him.