“As they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus” (Luke 23:26).

In 1969, Christian evangelist Arthur Blessitt decided to carry a cross—a twelve-foot wooden cross with wheels at the bottom end—from Hollywood, California, to Washington, D.C. It was a long journey, but that was only the beginning. Since then, he has carried a cross on all seven continents in 323 countries, over fifty of which were in the midst of war. In his quest to bring hope through the cross of Christ to people around the globe, he has been arrested twenty-four times, has suffered many other hardships, and has been attacked by baboons, elephants, crocodiles, and humans.

It took Arthur forty years to complete his goal of taking the cross to every nation and every major island group in the world, and he continues to willingly carry the cross and share the story of Jesus.

Simon of Cyrene probably didn’t carry the cross of Jesus willingly at first. After all, he was grabbed roughly by the Roman soldiers and had the heavy load thrust onto his shoulders. He was a foreigner, and that made him a target, especially since he had expressed sympathy for Jesus.

But this experience changed Simon in a way that made the task a blessing to him. Walking in close proximity to Christ, he witnessed the total goodness of the Lord. Even as He suffered, Jesus displayed only mercy and love toward those around Him. The blood and wounds that covered His body could not hide His divinity, and Simon couldn’t deny what he saw.

Some of Simon’s close relatives were followers of Jesus, and as Simon witnessed the merciless crucifixion of the pure, spotless Lamb of God, his heart was broken, and he accepted Jesus as the Son of God, Saviour of the world, and Lord of his life. From then on, Simon carried the cross of Christ by choice.

Have you chosen to carry His cross today?

Dear Jesus, as You willingly died on a cross to save me, may I be willing to carry that cross and proclaim Your love to the world!

For Further Study: Matthew 27:32; Mark 8:34; Galatians 6:14

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