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Carrying the Cross: Our Journey As Simon of Cyrene

“And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus”-Luke 23:26.

Let’s delve further into this verse and explore the significance of Simon’s act of carrying the cross, the spiritual meaning behind it, and its implications for followers of Jesus.

Carrying the Cross: The Journey of Simon of Cyrene

In the bustling streets of Jerusalem, a man named Simon was about to experience a moment that would immortalize his name into the annals of history. Hailing from Cyrene, Simon found himself in the midst of a tumultuous crowd, witnessing the somber procession and prosecution of a man condemned to die. This man – of course- was Jesus of Nazareth, and the burden He bore was not just the wooden cross, but the weight of the world’s sins. Your sin! My sin! Our sin!

The Roman soldiers, sensing Simon’s presence, seized him and placed upon his shoulders the cross that Jesus could no longer carry. In this act, Simon became an unwitting participant in the fulfillment of prophecy and a symbol of discipleship for all time. A moment in history that would live out in all Christians throughout the world, forever and completely etched in time.

The Meaning of the Cross

The cross, a symbol of suffering and shame, was transformed by Jesus into a triumphant act of hope and eternal salvation. For Simon, carrying the cross was a physical act that signified a deeper spiritual journey. It was a call to lay aside one’s own burdens and take up the cause of Christ, to share in His horrific and brutal sufferings and, ultimately, in His victory over death.

Following Jesus

To follow Jesus means to walk in His footsteps- to embrace the path of self-denial and service. Simon’s journey with the cross is a vivid illustration of this calling. As followers of Christ, we are invited to carry our own crosses, to endure hardships, and to persevere in faith, knowing that our steps are guided by the One who has overcome the world. He defeated death! (1 Corinthians 15:55). And through Christ we are victorious, as Christ Reigns victorious.  Christ is in us and greater is He in us than the one in the world! (1 John 4:4).

Supporting Scripture

Throughout the Bible, the theme of enduring trials for the sake of righteousness is prevalent. Jesus Himself said, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple”- Luke 14:27.

The Apostle Paul echoed this sentiment, writing, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” –Galatians 2:20.

A Moral with Questions

The moral of Simon’s story is one of obedience and sacrifice. It prompts us to ask ourselves:

  • Are we willing to carry the cross that is placed before us?
  • Do we accept the challenges of faith with humility and courage?
  • How can we apply the lessons of Simon’s journey to our own lives?

A reflection on Simon of Cyrene can bring about a clearer understanding in a spiritual sense, a metaphorical sense, and a sense of application to our own lives.  Let’s reflect upon the act of carrying the cross, and may it inspire us to walk closely with Jesus, bearing the burdens and joys of faith with a steadfast heart all the days of our lives.

 “Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for the example of Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for Your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us to bear our own crosses with the strength and grace that comes from You. May we follow Jesus with unwavering faith, and in doing so, find the true meaning of discipleship. Guide our steps and lead us into everlasting life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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  1. A beautiful reflection Camille on what it means to carry the cross that Jesus has laid on each of us individually. May God give you the courage and strength to bear the burden with joy and grace that He has given you to bear. In Jesus Name.

    • Thank you so much Jennifer. May the LORD give you the strength and courage as well, especially in your role as Chaplain, and of course all else, in the LORD’s name.

      Have a beautiful week my Friend~

  2. Great teaching. Great article! Thank you.

  3. The teaching of carrying our cross totally refutes prosperity theology. One will never hear those who teach this mention living a life of sacrifice and burdens.

  4. Hi John,
    Yes – prosperity teaching is the antithesis of “picking up the cross” and following Jesus.
    Thank you for your input and your affirmation, I appreciate it John.
    God Bless you and your family~

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