My Daily Journal:
From Cyrene to Jerusalem by land was 783 miles. Walking ~4 miles per hour for 8 hours a day, it would have taken 32 days to make the journey to arrive in the holy city for passover. On the day of passover a crowd lines the steets and Simon of Cyrene is in the crowd. We don’t know if he is actively participating in the mocking words of the crowd to Jesus, but suddenly he is being pulled from the crowd and ordered by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry the cross.
The moment he comes in contact with the blood on the cross he would be deemed to be ceremonially unclean and no longer able to participate in passover. There is no time to perform the ceremonies to become clean.
Being unable to participate in passover carried a huge burden. In a culture and religion where adherence to the the law and participation in the feasts was paramount to salvation, his inability to participate would be carried with him through the entire following year and possibly forever. There was no “make-up” date for passover.
Regardless of where his heart was at that moment, we catch insight into where his heart went. We know from Mark 15 that his sons were active members in the the church of Christians following Christ’s resurrection. We know from Romans 16 that his wife was like a mother to the apostle Paul.
Simon learned first hand that adherence to laws and feasts does not work. Despite best intentions things go wrong. We are not perfect. But Jesus was perfect and His perfect sacrifice redeemed us fully now and forever. We see later in our story that Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and the jewish women who followed Jesus also gave up their ability to participate in passover. But by willing letting go of their place in the crowd, they stepped into a personal relationship with Jesus, one that lasts into eternity.
Where are you standing in the crowd? Where do you need to step out and be willing to let go of “looking proper” or “doing good things” to actually serve Jesus?
Lev 4: Our sin offeringLev 4: The offering which we lay hands on to transfer our guilt and sin
Deut: Someone who took on our capital offense, was put to death on a pole – God’s curse
2 Cor: One who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become righteous
Heb: Suffered outside the gate, like a burnt offering, sin offering, made holy through His blood
1 Peter: Redemption through precious blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish or defect
1 Peter: bore our sins so that we might die to sins and live to righteousness, healed by his wounds
took on our capital offense, put to death on a pole and received God’s curse – taken down to not desecrate the land
Unclear in scripture. He would have traveled for almost a month to Jerusalem for passover only to become unclean on that very day. Anger, fear turning to compassion, wonder and appreciation. 2 sons became missionaries and wife was “like a mother” to Paul.
More than just an angry, frustrated, Judean Jew. He had been touched and moved to faith through the experience he had of being pulled out of the crowd.
Christ’s passion for us did not just involve a quick death. Death was preceded by pain and degradation that led to fully taking on the weight of our sin even unto death