39. A WALKER’S COMMENTARY ON THE CROSS
Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”
No one in history has ever taken a big cross, traveled on foot thousands of miles around the world, until now. The distance Jesus and Simon carried the cross is a total of only about a quarter of a mile; however the distance is not important. What is important is the purpose of the cross. Matthew, Mark, and Luke record that Simon carried the cross, never making mention of Jesus carrying the cross. Mark 15:21 says, “And they got one Simon, a Cyrenian man, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear His cross.
“The gospel of John 19:17 says, “And He (Jesus) bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of the skull.” So we must surmise that Jesus began with the cross, though Simon was compelled to carry it. The physical condition of Jesus was serious after his beating and scourging. Simon could carry the cross. God let man help carry the cross to Calvary, but Simon could not die for our sins. Only Jesus, perfect and holy, could do that. The Bible does not say that Jesus fell down, only tradition tells us that, but it is very possible that since Simon helped Jesus, that he could have fallen. However, Simon did not volunteer, he was compelled.
Cyrenia is in Africa. We do not know Simon’s color, but he was probably black.
The size of the cross in unknown, but had to be big enough for a man to be crucified on.
I’ve often wondered what thoughts were in the mind of Christ as He walked toward His crucifixion and what thoughts were in the mind of Simon as he shouldered the wooden cross and made his way beside Jesus through the narrow streets and out the gate to the Place of the Skull. How did Simon feel as he walked beside the bleeding Christ?
Jesus carried the cross to die for our sins. I carry the cross to remind people of that. Jesus is our Savior and we are to be His witnesses. I carry the cross mostly on my right shoulder, sometimes changing to my left shoulder. The weight is so much it cuts the blood supply to the arm, so the shoulder must be changed from right to left. After 15 years of weight on that right shoulder, my bone has formed about a one inch of growth. Perhaps I’m the only person in history that has physically been shaped by the weight of a cross, but that is not important. What is important is that it changed my life!
All of history points toward the cross, even our calendar points back to the birth of our Christ. God created the world and then He created man as recorded in Genesis, Chapter 1.
Everything He made was good. Adam and Eve were without sin; they were naked and yet felt no guilt. Everything was made for their pleasure, yet in time they disobeyed God and partook of the forbidden fruit at the temptation of the devil, the old serpent Satan. God’s glorious creation had fallen. Adam and Eve were filled with guilt. When they saw their nakedness they covered themselves with fig leaves. And God called out to them, “Adam, where art thou?” This was the most hurtful cry in history, except for Christ’s words on the cross, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” God’s creation had turned against the creator. Satan had been cast out of heaven and now he was ravaging God’s beautiful creature. We were created by God in His image and likeness. He breathed into man the breath of life and he became a living soul.
Now they had sinned and because of Adam and Eve, death came into existence. We would age and have to work for food and women would bring forth children in pain at childbirth. They were also to be cast out of the beautiful garden forever, but before God cast them out He gave a message. In Genesis 3:15 God said to the Serpent, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed. It shall bruise your head and ye shall bruise his heel.” This was the first prophecy of Christ.
Jesus was born from the womb of Mary. Satan would bruise His heel. Christ would be hurt, beaten and crucified, but after His death He would rise again a living Savior. The prophecy came true at the cross as the perfect Christ died that terrible death and shed His blood. Satan was defeated! It shall bruise your heel. Satan was mortally bruised at the cross.
Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Praise God! Through Jesus’ victory on the cross. In Revelation 20:10, 14 and 15 we read, “And the devil who deceived them was gone into the lake of Fire and Brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are also and they would be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin this is the law of God.”
Genesis 3:21 says, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Then God put them out of the garden. In order to clothe them God had to kill something, perhaps it was a lamb. A life was given, blood was shed, a covering was made.
This was prophesying of the coming of the Messiah. We read in Genesis 22 where Abraham took his son Isaac upon Mount Moriah to worship God. He took wood for the sacrifice. When they got upon the mountain Isaac said to his father.
“Where is the lamb for the offering unto God?” Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.”
Abraham laid Isaac down up on the altar, took his knife in his hand and was ready to slay his son, but God called out, “Abraham, Abraham, lay not your hand upon the lad for you did not withhold thy only son from Me.” Abraham looked and saw a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. Abraham took the ram and offered it instead of his son. A life was given, blood was shed, and a covering was made prophecy of the coming of the Messiah.
In Egypt, as Moses was dealing with Pharaoh to let God’s people go, the death angel was to come in the night. All the children of Israel put the blood of a perfect lamb upon the doorpost and when the death angel saw the blood he would pass that house. A life was given, blood was shed, and a covering was made, prophecy of the coming of Christ.
Once a year the blood of a lamb without blemish was to be sprinkled upon the altar in the Holy of Holies at the Temple in Jerusalem. The high priest had to also offer a sacrifice for himself before he could be clean enough to enter the Holy of Holies. This was called the Day of Atonement where, through the blood, God would grant forgiveness and peace to people. The sins of the nation would be put on a goat and the goat taken into the wilderness to die (that is where we get the word scapegoat). A life was given, blood was shed, a covering was made, prophecy of the coming of the Lord.
Oh my friends, Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God had become flesh, Jesus died without sin when He was nailed to the cross. A life was given. “I am the good shepherd, I lay my life down for the sheep.” John 10:14-15.
Jesus said, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” Mark 14:24. Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows acquainted with grief, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. With His stripes we are healed. He was oppressed, He was afflicted, He made His grave with the wicked and with the rich in His death. He hath poured His soul unto death. He was numbered with the transgressors; He bore the sins of many. He made intercession for the transgressors. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way and the Lord hath laid on Him the inequity of us all. It pleased the Lord to bruise him; He hath put him to grief. “When thou shall make His soul an offering for sin.” Isaiah 53.
On the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus and his burial in a tomb with a huge stone blocking the opening, Jesus rose again. The guards were struck down by a huge light. The angels said to those who came to the tomb, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” Luke 24:5-6.
Jesus appeared to His disciples in a room where the door was closed. “Reach forth your finger and behold my hands, and reach forth your hand and put it into my side. Be not faithless but believe.” Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God.” John 20:27-28.
After showing Himself to many other people for forty days, He was with His disciples and “He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight, and while they stood steadfastly looking toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by in white apparel. You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus who is taken up from into Heaven shall come in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven.” Acts 1:9, 10, 11.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this same Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36.
As you have read this book, I pray that you have become aware of the reality of God, of the beauty of this life with Him in the way, truth and life of Jesus Christ the Lord.
I invite you into this life with Jesus. “The Spirit and the bride say come, let him that heareth say come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17.
You desire to turn from an old way to know him personally, to repent and invite Jesus into your life. Believing that Jesus is Lord, you may pray this prayer or express in your own words.
Dear God, I need you. I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord that He was born of the Virgin Mary, lived without sin, died on the cross and rose again, and has ascended into heaven. Lord help my unbelief I repent of my sins, forgive me. Save my soul I welcome the Holy Spirit, fill me with thy Spirit. I give my life to God. Thank You Lord Jesus for saving me, for writing my name in heaven Help me to love You with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself. Teach me thy truths. I am not ashamed of Jesus. In Jesus name I pray. Thank You Lord.
God bless you. I encourage you to get into a good church, study the Bible, pray and without delay be baptized and seek all the fullness of Christ in your life.
In Switzerland a man said to me one day after a time together, “Arthur, you have been with that cross so long that you are beginning to look like it.” I only pray that it were true. As we spend time with Christ in prayer, reading the Bible, obeying the Father, walking in the Spirit and loving, we begin to look like Jesus. For me that is my greatest hunger and thirst, to know all His fullness is my passion.
I am only a pilgrim. Welcome to the pilgrimage. Let’s go together to live in the Spirit of Jesus and help make this world more like Him.
I leave you with these thoughts from the Bible.
Philippines 1:2-21-“ According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Galatians 6:14-“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Romans 1:15-“So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you…”
I Corinthians 1:23-“But we preach. Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; vs. 24-But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. vs.25-Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. vs. 28-And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: vs.29- That no flesh should glory in his presence. vs.31-That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Luke 18:1-“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”
Luke 10:23, 24-“And be turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.'”
Copyright, 1985 by Arthur Blessitt
All Rights Reserved
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