Luke 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
If the Jews had have killed Jesus themselves, they would have stoned him. The Roman form of execution was the cross. Jesus was so beaten, with no food or drink since that night in the upper room. He had been betrayed by Judas, Simon and most of his disciples had fled from him. He faced the cross, dragging its weight with so much blood loss and being totally warn out by the beatings and insults. He could not bear the weight of the cross alone, he needed help. He bore all our sins upon him and asks us to give him the weight of them, but in the flesh, he needed help.
Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Simon the Cyrene was forced to bear the weight of the cross. Cyrene was in Northern Africa, so Simon may have been a black man. One wonders where Peter and James and John were at this time. They could have carried the cross. This was one of the greatest honors given to a man, to bear the cross for Jesus, dragging it up to the mountain of the skull. We are told to bear our own cross, to die to the flesh and to follow Jesus.
Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Simon was called to bear the cross of Jesus, giving him a moments rest. This allowed Jesus to speak a prophecy to the weeping women of Jerusalem.
Luke 23:27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
Luke 23:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
Luke 23:29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Luke 23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
Luke 23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
They did these things to the perfect holy man, the Son of God. Who will save them from Rome, the soldiers who would come, and from satan?
Who was Simon? Mark tells us he had sons known within the church.
Mark 15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
It appears that he became prominent in the church, as prophet or teacher.
Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
Pick up your cross for Jesus. There is work to do. He is calling you to serve him.