When Mark and Matthew describe this scene, they simply say the Simon was pressed into service to "carry the cross." But Luke adds that he carried it "behind Jesus." Luke wants Simon to express in action what Jesus had said earlier.
"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and
take up their cross daily and follow me." (Luke 9:23)
Simon was blindsided. He was on his way in "from the country" minding his own business, when all of a sudden the soldiers seized him and made him carry the cross. He didn't volunteer for the job, and this wasn't part of his plans when he got up that morning.
Some of the toughest crosses are the ones we don't expect or volunteer for. Why this? Why now? Why us?
There's no answer this side of the grave. You just do what Simon did: Put your should to the cross as best you can, and walk behind Jesus one step at a time, just trying to get through a day.
Had any crosses like that?
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw