“As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.” Matthew 27:32
“Till death do us part.” Those were the words of a 19-year-old girl getting married to her high school sweetheart on August 30, 1980.
“YES,” I said. I can do that. I vowed to love and cherish in sickness and in health, not realizing that one day my marriage would actually die and I would be lonely and broken.
Life was this curvy road that began when we were only 19, and it felt like I was Cinderella and he was Prince Charming. We married and then crawled into our make-believe carriage and headed straight to the carwash to get all the marriage graffiti off the car before we headed to dinner and the mountains for our long-awaited honeymoon.
Fast-forward past my diagnosis of breast cancer at 24 and the birth of our two precious children. Life looked pretty good from the outside. It’s what was happening behind the closed door that was disturbing.
After 23 years of marriage, my family was destroyed by addiction. I had been forced to carry my husband’s cross and mine too.
Addiction begins very subtly. No one decides all of a sudden that they are going to become an addict. It creeps up on you one day at a time.
In the days of Jesus, a cross was a “symbol of suffering.” We have come to know it to represent “pain, distress and burden-bearing.” http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/cross/
But more than that, it was a “symbol of death.”
As an instrument of death, the cross was detested by the Jews. “Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13; compare Deuteronomy 21:23). Hence, it became a stumbling block to them, for how could one accursed of God be their Messiah? http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/cross/
My marriage ended in death. I spent many years suffering. We went through terrible times of distress and I bore the burdens of someone I loved who had an addiction. It was hard to carry and bear those burdens.
When was the last time you bore the sins of someone else?
My heart was overwhelmed, penetrated to the point of hemorrhaging, in terrible pain from the ripping apart of a love that was supposed to last forever.
Dreams died. My family forever separated.
My marriage was crucified.
In Matthew 27:32, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for Jesus. He lifted and transported the cross of suffering and death to a location called Golgotha. Crucifixion was the death sentence for Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He was innocent, and as we read in yesterday’s post, Pilate washed his hands of the blood of this man and put his sentence on the people. They yelled, “Crucify Him.” They were willing to accept the responsibility for themselves and even for generations to follow.
Jesus was headed to THE Cross.
You can read the whole story at Matthew 27: 27-61.
As I was researching information about the cross and crucifixion,
I discovered this and believe that it explains
what happens during death on a cross.
“The suffering of death by crucifixion was intense, especially in hot climates. Severe local inflammation, coupled with an insignificant bleeding of the jagged wounds, produced traumatic fever, which was aggravated by the exposure to the heat of the sun, the strain of the body and insufferable thirst. The swelling about the rough nails and the torn lacerated tendons and nerves caused excruciating agony. The arteries of the head and stomach were surcharged with blood and a terrific throbbing headache ensued. The mind was confused and filled with anxiety and dread foreboding. The victim of crucifixion literally died a thousand deaths. Tetanus not rarely supervened and the rigors of the attending convulsions would tear at the wounds and add to the burden of pain, till at last the bodily forces were exhausted and the victim sank to unconsciousness and death.”http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/cross/
As hard as it was for me to carry the cross of suffering in my own life due to the sins of addiction and sins caused by life here on this earth, it didn’t compare to what Jesus endured.
Jesus bore the sins of everyone who had ever sinned and everyone who would ever sin again.
It’s hard to imagine and understand, but God gave His only son to be born of a virgin, to live a sinless and perfect life, to die on a cross for you and me, and now He victoriously lives again.
“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. (It is finished. John 19:30)
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The next time we are forced to carry the cross of suffering and death due to a burden in life, I hope we can focus on what Jesus did for us on the cross of His crucifixion. None of us want to have pain or suffer, but following Jesus and thanking Him will help us have hope that it is not the end. #WeHaveHope Please leave us a comment.
The power that raised our precious Savior
is the same power that will carry us from our
brokenness and burdens to
belief and beauty.
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