Simon the Cyrenean

Simon the Cyrenean who helped Jesus to carry His cross was the father of Alexander and Rufus. At the end of the epistle to the Romans, Paul sends his greetings to Rufus, elect in the Lord and his mother and mine. It is clear that Rufus, the son of Simon, was outstanding among the Christians of Rome and so was his mother.

Simon was coming from the country, where he had been working and was now on his way home, but the centurion, since the need was pressing, "requisitioned" him, ordering him to carry the crosspiece which Jesus could not hold up any longer. He was forced, as Jesus fell, to bear the weight of His heavy cross up the steep mountainside to Calvary. But although there is a tradition that he afterwards became Christian, the church had not canonized Simon of Cyrene. Simon was a conspicuous figure in the Apostolic church.

(drama) Jesus would stagger and fall and the cross banged down on him. The soldier in charge shouted at him to get up, but He couldn't. The soldier looked round into the crowd, drew his shortsword, and came over to Simon the Cyrenean. 'You look strong,' he said, 'you carry the cross'. Jesus was too weak to carry His cross. Not surprising, he'd been flogged half to death, so the Romans pressed into service a man in the crowd. It was regulations, he couldn't refuse. A long, up-and-down route would be worked out, so that as many people as possible would see the prisoner and read his crime, written on a board and carried by the lead corporal. Jesus' board just said 'King of the Jews' another Pilate joke. When the Jewish elders asked him to change it, he refused and got very nasty.
[324, 347, 340, 373, Matthew 27, Mark 15]

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