Lord Jesus, You did what had to be done, what only You could do, for me. I praise You.
Read Mark 15:21-32
 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.  They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”).  Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.  And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.  It was nine in the morning when they crucified him.  The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS.  They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.   Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days,  come down from the cross and save yourself!”  In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!  Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat indignities did Jesus have to endure here?
“And they crucified him” (24): a short statement of the greatest possible significance to humankind. Yet, many of those watching were utterly blind to the meaning of the event. The chief priests stood mocking quietly, satisfied that their plan to get rid of their rival had worked (31). But why did the passers-by hurl insults at Jesus (29)? Did they remember Jesus’ claims and feel let down, embarrassed that they had believed them? They challenged Jesus to save himself (30), to put his own needs before the will of God (see Matt. 4:1-4). Because he was determined to save others, indeed, the very people who insulted, beat and crucified him, Jesus couldn’t and wouldn’t save himself. Although the trial was a farce, the written notice of the charge against Jesus was true (26). This was a very different kind of king, one who took their punishment and died for the people. Simon was stopped and compelled to perform the most important act of his life: he became the first person to follow Jesus’ command to take up our cross and follow him (21; 8:34). He almost certainly became a believer, as his sons Rufus and Alexander are known to the community.
Reflect on how God might be asking you to take up your cross and follow him. Are you willing to?
Lord Jesus, I’m unsure what it might mean, but I want to be willing to take up my cross and follow You.
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