Station 7

Simon Carries Jesus’ Cross


“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Matthew 16:24


When you think about this part of the story, what emotions come up for you?

What is something in your life that someone else has carried with you?

What does it mean to you that Jesus couldn’t carry his burden by himself?


In this image we see two separate hands holding two separate pieces of wood, juxtaposed together to make the symbol of the cross. In Jesus’ journey to death, overcome with exhaustion from being beaten and forced to carry his own cross, He can no longer carry the burden laid upon him. A Roman guard pulls a man Simon from Cyrene out of the observing crowd and forces him to carry Jesus’ cross up the hill to Golgotha where Jesus will be crucified.

To imagine this moment is overwhelming. Imagine if it was your friend – wrongfully sentenced, brutally flogged, and then on their way to being publicly executed. Imagine as you watch them fall, you then are taken out of the crowd and asked to carry your friends execution device and walk alongside them as they head to the end of their life.

It’s too much to imagine… and maybe even understand… and very few of us will ever be asked to be a part of a story like this.

But all of us will walk alongside someone we love to the end of their life.
And someone will walk alongside us to our end.
And most likely it won’t be a dignified journey… because a walk to the end is a path of letting go of everything, especially your agency to do it by yourself.

We’ve all bumped up against the end of our capacity at some point in our life. Financially, physically, emotionally, psychologically, eschatologically… and in that moment we entered into the humbling and exciting reality that a human life cannot be accomplished on its own.

Jesus partook in having someone carry his burden.

Just like we will have our burdens carried. Just like we will carry someone else’s burdens. Whether we like it or not, throughout a human life, we carry one another.