"to carry His cross"
One of the things that I love about the Bible, is that Jesus is everywhere.
And one of the things that I love about reading the Old Testament is finding Jesus in places where His name is not mentioned. Which, of course, is everywhere in the Old Testament. Or nowhere...
For instance, we see Jesus in the story of Noah. The ark was a place of refuge for Noah and his family, and the animals of the earth. Jesus is our refuge.
And we see Jesus in Isaac, a willing sacrifice in obedience to His Father.
I like the challenge of finding Jesus symbolized in the people, or even objects (like the ark) in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
But the other day I found Jesus in place I wasn't expecting Him. I mean, I know I just said He's everywhere in Scripture, but still...
The reason it surprised me what that it was a verse about Jesus' crucifixion. And generally, in a scene where Jesus is the star, the place to find Jesus is, well, Jesus.
But look at Matthew 27:32. This is a detail of the crucifixion narrative found only in Matthew. And it mentions a man mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, Simone of Cyrene.
Simon, as you probably know, helped Jesus carry His cross. But I find Jesus here, in the knowledge that we do not have to bear our burdens alone. The verse says that Simon was "compelled" which in his case means forced, really, by the authorities. I think Jesus, too, is compelled, but in a different sense of the word. He cares for us, and carries our cross, because He can do nothing else.
He tells us in Luke 9:23 that if we are to follow Him, we must take up our cross. But He also tells us (in Matthew 11) that His burden is light, that in Him we will find rest. Those two things sound contradictory, but they both are true in Him.
~ "... casting all your care upon Him
for He cares for you" ~
1 Peter 5:7