Carry the Cross
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.
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 to bear the cross of Jesus and was rewarded with a family who would serve the Lord. One of Simon's sons, Alexander would be mentioned as part of the church in Antioch.
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.
A Rufus is mentioned by Paul as a beloved friend as well a his beloved mother.
Rom 16:13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
We cannot bear the Lord's cross, but we are to take up our own cross daily, die to selfish desires and we are to follow Jesus each day. How? By reading the Bible and doing as he says. You must receive him as Lord and savior from your sins. He will reward you with a new heart that desires to serve God and to do good works. Our reward is to be called the adopted of God, eternally with our Lord in heavenly places.