Parade of Kingly Pain
Updated: Mar 16
Verse 37 Above His head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.
Yesterday we talked about the emotional and physical stresses that Jesus had experienced the 24 hours before He was being led to be executed. We now join the journey to the hill known as the skull.
Jesus was already in pain and agony and was likely weak as He walked along. It may have been this weakness that caused the soldiers to pull in Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. This may have just been the crossbar of the cross but still was likely that it weighed more than Jesus could physically bear at this point. We know that Simon was from North Africa and in Mark 15:21 it says he had two sons. He was likely there to celebrate the Passover. He was not looking to be a part of this bizarre scenario.
Bearing His cross, Simon followed Jesus through the streets. The men were being followed by a throng of weeping women. It was like a parade of sadness. A parade that ended at the place chosen for the crucifixions. This would have been a place that was near enough to the road that people could see the criminals up close so that they could spit on them and hurl insults. The Romans wanted others to know what could happen to them if they didn’t toe the line.
Once they arrive at the hill Jesus is offered something to deaden the pain of being nailed to the cross. Jesus denies it and thereby puts Himself in the place of feeling all the pain that our sins put forth. He knew that He had to suffer the full nature of the pain. He was most likely already suffering so much from all the pain already inflicted on Him and yet here He was willingly walking into more. And all because of our sin.
Once they had Jesus and the two thieves up on their crosses, the soldiers took to dividing the spoils of the victims’ clothing. The four soldiers divided all of Jesus’ garments except for His outer garment which was a seamless piece of material. So for this piece they cast lots to decide who got it, this fulfilled a prophecy (Psalm 22:18).
Our scene for the day concludes with a sign being added to the cross above Jesus’ head. The sign wasn’t worded as the Jewish leaders wanted, as they said it should say that He “claimed to be king of the Jews” but Pilate was once again showing he didn’t think that Jesus was guilty and deserving of death.
Making It Personal
What would you have thought if you were in Simon’s position? What do you think the atmosphere was like during that walk? Imagine yourself watching this scene, what do you think would be going through your mind?
Making It Personal Kids
Did you know that Jesus had to carry His own cross until they got a guy named Simon to carry it? Why do you think the women were crying? Who did the sign above Jesus say He is?
Father, we are troubled by the scenes surrounding Christ’s crucifixion. May these scenes drive us to the see the reality of our sins. In Jesus’ name, amen.