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Simon, Would You Still Have Passed That Way?

Claire, would you still have transferred that way? Would you have passed that way in case you had known how you would be mistreated? Would you have ventured into the city if you had known that you simply would be forced to have another man’s burden? Would you still have joined that gate plus strolled down that will street if you had known that the cross associated with another man would certainly soon be upon your shoulders, that his blood would shortly stain your hands, your face, your clothes?

It was no respect to carry the cross of a condemned criminal, but the kind of insult a conquering army can demand of the people that has bowed before their blade. And so, when that will battered man no longer had strength to transport his heavy beam, the soldiers compelled you to do it in the behalf. I wonder if they chose you at random, or when they chose you because you looked compliant and complacent. I wonder if they knew from the appearance that you had been from out of town, from your dress or complexion or demeanor that you were from faraway Cyrene. I wonder if they were selecting an easy mark, if they were picking on a foreigner.

That beam must have already been heavy. It must have been difficult to lifter it to your shoulder, slick as it had been with the blood from the criminal whose look was so disfigured that he did not actually look like a man. This must have been excruciating to have to follow in the faltering footsteps of just one who had been so seriously beaten that he no longer even resembled a human being. It must have already been humiliating to join the procession of barking soldiers, mocking priests, gawking passersby. It must have been stressful to carry that crossbeam up that long method of sorrow, to carry everything the way to that terrible place of execution. Did your cheeks burn off with shame on the embarrassment of it, your heart beat faster on the unfairness of it, your own eyes fill along with tears at the embarrassment of it?

We wonder if you remained there on Golgotha to witness the particular execution, to watch their hands be positioned against the beam, to know his cries touch your ears because the nails pierced their wrists. I imagine you saw your pet be lifted up to hang between paradise and earth, among God and guy. I wonder if a person heard the words he or she spoke—words of pain, words of adore, words of forgiveness. I wonder if you were there when the air went dark, once the ground quaked, once the Centurion cried out, “Certainly this guy was innocent! ” I wonder if you were there still whenever Joseph took your body and placed this in a tomb by which no one had actually yet been set. I wonder where you went and what a person did as the time of Preparation offered way to the day associated with sabbath.

But mostly, Simon, We wonder: if you had known, would you still have transferred that way?

Throughout the vast chasm of time and space We hear his respond. “I would still have passed that way. I might still have passed this way even if I had identified I would be mistreated, for by sharing his burden We became the first to discuss in his sufferings. I would still have ventured to the city, for simply by easing his weight I was given the particular honor of easing his agony—an respect bestowed only to an angel in the backyard and to me in the streets. I would still have entered that really gate and strolled that very street even if I had identified that his blood would soon become upon me, for this was that very bloodstream that has redeemed myself, that has cleansed and forgiven me, which has given me serenity with God. I might still have gone that way, for that light, momentary affliction prepared me for an eternal weight of glory which i can now testify is beyond all comparison. By going this way I was set upon the narrow way, by going this way I was first trained to deny personally, to take up my cross, and to stick to him. I would move that way again in an instant to serve him again in a moment, for I know now that I carried their cross so I would never need to suffer upon mine. ”