For those of you who may have missed the news, we opened escrow on the house. Michigan, here we come! I’ll be helping my parents move to the Great Lake state in mid July and then I plan (but we all know how my plans tend to go) to return to Utah shortly thereafter! 4 months and counting!
My pastor gave a really interesting sermon this past week on Simon of Cyrene. You can check it out here. He showed us a clip from The Passion of the Christ. It has been a long time since I’ve seen that movie. I can remember the intensity of it, the eerie feeling of leaving the Felix Event Center at APU with nearly 3,000 of my peers in complete silence. Many moments of that movie remain etched in my memory: The scene where Jesus is praying in Gethsemane; Peter’s denial of Christ; the moment where Jesus’ resurrection takes place and Satan is defeated. One moment I didn’t exactly recall from the movie was the clip Pastor Dave showed on Sunday of Simon of Cyrene being forced to carry the cross of Jesus. I noted on Simon’s face the definite resistance and near annoyance of being forced to carry this criminal’s cross. This man, that Mark 15:21 says was just passing by, picks up the cross and comes face to face with the Savior. I left church that morning wondering what it would have been like to look Christ in the eye and carry his cross. To watch as he is beaten, bloodied, mocked and murdered for my sake. We, as believers, know that it happened. But can you imagine actually being there? And moreover, can you imagine being Simon of Cyrene and carrying the cross side by side with Jesus? I cannot put my finger on exactly why this moved me the way that it did, but I find myself hoping beyond all hope that what my pastor suggested may have happened, actually did happen. That the moment when Simon carried that cross, that maybe he really did look Jesus in the eye. And maybe in that moment he felt something powerful, unearthly, and divine. And maybe when the rumors began to circulate that this Jesus of Nazareth had conquered death, Simon of Cyrene knew he had carried the cross of the one who carried his sin. Was it coincidence that Simon happened through Jerusalem at that exact moment, or was God interrupting his life so that he could save it? And how many times does God do that? Interrupt our very own lives for the sake of saving them?
Peace in this Lenten season.
(The picture comes from this website.)