Welcome to Refinery Life Church.
“Beneath the Cross of Jesus” is the theme for this series that consists of eight biographical sermons about the people who were there when Jesus was dying on the cross.
Today’s message is titled The Face Of Favour, Simon of Cyrene.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Simon of Cyrene was.
As we study the faces beneath the cross, we find the face of this favoured man.
He carried the cross to Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified.
We will use our imaginations this evening to fill in some of the details that are implied and see Simon’s story as it may have been.
Simon was born into a dedicated Jewish home in the North African city of Cyrene.
His parents expressed their faith at his birth by naming him Simon, the name of one of the famous sons of Jacob the patriarch.
As Simon grew into manhood, he probably dreamed of going to Jerusalem to observe Passover.
Such a pilgrimage was the aspiration of all the faithful Hebrew people scattered across the world.
Finally, Simon the Cyrene had the opportunity and was about to realise his dream.
We can imagine his heart beating with excitement as he entered the Holy City for the first time.
when he arrived in Jerusalem, he found the city in an uproar.
Everyone was talking about the teacher from Galilee.
they were sharp divided over Jesus’ identity.
Some were certain that He was the long awaited Messiah, but others considered Him a false prophet.
There were reports that the leaders of the people were plotting His death.
On the day of the great Passover, Simon stumbled on a strange spectacle as he entered the city.
He saw a noisy crowd gathered around a group of soldiers.
In the middle of the soldiers was an obviously weary man dragging a Roman cross.
Most of the crowd were heckling the condemned Man.
The soldiers were prodding Him to hurry Him up.
Anyone watching could see that He was about to fall under the weight of the cross.
when Simon saw what was happening, he decided to stay in the shadows.
Just then the soldiers decided they had had enough of the slow pace of the tired criminal.
They wanted to finish their assignment.
They looked around for someone to carry the cross, and their eyes fell on Simon.
One of them grabbed Simon.
“You!” He growled.
“You take this cross out to the hill.”
Because he was a Jewish man, Simon was powerless to refuse.
Roman soldiers had the power to conscript any non Roman anytime they pleased.
Reluctant and embarrassed, Simon shouldered the cross and followed the soldiers to Golgotha.
Maybe was the outcry of the women that caused Simon to take a second look at the condemned Man.
Somewhere along the way, he became aware that he was carrying the cross of Jesus of Nazareth.
It is easy for us to see that the soldiers unknowingly granted Simon tremendous favour.
Any of us who know Jesus would have been glad to carry the cross.
Yet in a real sense the opportunity to bear His cross is always with us.
The cross symbolised all of the shame and disapproval that accompanied the life and death of Christ.
The ross was what it cost our Lord to do the will of His Father.
If we choose to walk in His ways, we, too, will bear His cross.
This event changed Simon’s life forever.
What a favoured man he was!
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
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