In my devotional time on Thursday, I was reading in Mark 15 about Jesus carrying his cross to Calvary. The passages says, “And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. ” (Mark 15:21)
Cyrene was a city in North Africa in modern day Libya. A “passerby” from Libya is called upon to carry Jesus’ cross. But what struck me more than that was the naming of the two sons, Alexander & Rufus. Alexander, a name no were else mentioned in the Scriptures. But Rufus is found again in Romans 16:13 “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.”
It seems that Simon, his unnamed wife, Alexander, and Rufus, all became Christians and were known in the Christian community of Rome. How extraordinary did this “passerby” moment impact the lives of this whole family.
What did the boys think when their dad was called upon to carry Jesus’ cross? Were they scared? Were they confused? They understood the cross was meant for punishment and death. What had their father done to deserve this humiliation? Did they think their father was being punished? Did they understand who this Jesus’ was anyway? The two sons watched their father bear a cross upon his back for the Lord.
Here is the application the Lord laid on my heart: Do my two sons, Isaac and Ethan, see their father bearing my cross for the Lord? Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
Lord, please let my sons see me take up my cross daily and allow that to impact their lives as it did Alexander and Rufus.