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Simon of Cyrene and the Cross Christ Bore

Topic: Matthew 27, Luke 23:20, Colossians 2:14
Format: pdf
Pages: 14

 Victor Paul Wierwille was a Bible scholar and teacher for over four decades.

By means of Dr. Wierwille's dynamic teaching of the accuracy and integrity of God's Word, foundational class and advanced class graduates of Power for Abundant Living have learned that the one great requirement for every student of the Bible is to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Thus, his presentation of the Word of God was designed for students who desire the in-depth-accuracy of God’s Word.

In his many years of research, Dr. Wierwille studied with such men as Karl Barth, E. Stanley Jones, Glenn Clark, Bishop K.C. Pillai, and George M. Lamsa. His formal training included Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology degrees from Mission House (Lakeland) College and Seminary. He studied at the University of Chicago and at Princeton Theological Seminary from which he received a Master of Theology degree in Practical Theology. Later he completed his work for the Doctor of Theology degree.

Dr. Wierwille taught the first class on Power for Abundant Living in 1953.

Books by Dr. Wierwille include: Are the Dead Alive Now? published in 1971; Receiving the Holy Spirit Today published in 1972; five volumes of Studies in Abundant Living— The Bible Tells Me So (1971), The New, Dynamic Church (1971), The Word's Way (1971), God's Magnified Word (1977), Order My Steps in Thy Word (1985); Jesus Christ Is Not God (1975); Jesus Christ Our Passover (1980); and Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed (1982).

Dr. Wierwille researched God's Word, taught, wrote, and traveled worldwide, holding forth the accuracy of God's "wonderful, matchless" Word.

PDF

Simon Of Cyrene and The Cross Christ Bore

by
VICTOR PAUL WIERWILLE

I want to acknowledge my indebtedness to my good
friend Jack Hunt for bringing to my attention the accuracy
of The Word regarding the subject of the cross Christ
bore. May his inspiration and mine be yours to enjoy.
You are acquainted with the generally accepted
teaching of how Jesus appeared before Pilate, who
scourged Him . After that the soldiers put the heavy cross
on Him to carry it to Calvary. Then, as they approached
Calvary, Jesus broke down under the burden of the cross.
So the soldiers grabbed Simon of Cyrene out of the crowd
and they said, "You must carry the cross." So Simon
carried the cross the rest of the way to Calvary, where
they crucified Jesus. This makes a beautiful word picture,
beautiful colored pictures in the churches, beautiful story,
beautiful this and beautiful that, but it is not true.
Let's find the truth. If I were in The Way Teaching
Center and I said that I was going to my residence and if I
said to you, in telling this story that I met my brother
Harry as I came out of the Bible Center, where would you
say that I met Harry? What do you understand that I
meant when I say that as I came out of the Bible Center I
met Harry?

To discover the accuracy of The Word regarding the
cross Christ bore, let us consider each record in the
gospels separately, beginning of course with the gospel of
Matthew. "Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus
into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole
band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a
scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of
thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right
hand: and they bowed the knee before Him, and mocked
him, saying Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon
him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And
after they had mocked him, they took the robe off from
him and his own raiment on him, and led him away to
crucify him." Matthew 27:27ff.

Where were they? They were in the Praetorium,
Pilate's Judgment Hall. "And as they came out" of the hall
"they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they
compelled to bear his cross." As they came out of the hall,
they found a man at the entrance, and ". . . him they
compelled to bear his cross."

There is nothing in the gospel of Matthew teaching
that Christ even touched the wooden cross. In Matthew
we are informed that; at the entrance at the doorway,
within a few feet of the door there was a man, Simon of
Cyrene, and they compelled him to bear the cross all the
way to Calvary.

"And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called
Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And
they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of
thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him,
Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head
with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their
knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him,
they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes
on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel
one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by,. . . to bear his
cross." Mark 15:16 ff. Passed by where? Passed by the
hall. There is no record in the Gospel of Mark about Jesus
ever touching a piece of wood, a tree or anything like it, is
there? The Word is explicit, plain and simple.
"Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again
to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath
he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will
therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be
crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests
prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as
they required. And he released unto them him that for
sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had
desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. And as they
led him away" (note carefully) "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." Luke 23:20ff.

As they led Jesus away, right there at the hall; at the
door, was Simon a Cyrenian. On him (not on Jesus) they
laid the cross. Note the word AFTER. Some say that word
means he carried it after Jesus had carried it. No, Jesus
went ahead and Simon followed after him.
"When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought
Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place
that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
And it was in the preparation of the passover, and about
the sixth hour:" (twelve midnight) "and he said unto the
Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with
him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them,
Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, we
have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore
unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led
him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a
place called the place of a skull, which is called in the
Hebrew Golgotha." John 19:13ff.

"And he, (Jesus,) bearing his cross. . . " is the phrase
from which has been inferred that Jesus bore the wooden
cross. This does not agree with the clear record in the
other three Gospels. The first three Gospels stipulate very
plainly that Simon bore the cross from the door of the
Judgment Hall. But, the Gospel of John states, "And he
bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place
of a skull, . . . " "HIS CROSS" was not wooden but
spiritual.

The cross Jesus bore was composed of our sins and
our transgressions. If it had been a wooden cross, what
good would that have accomplished? He did not bear
apiece of wood or a tree, He bore our sins. If the penalty
for sin was paid by the cross of Jesus, the price is not only
right, but paid. We do not need to pay that which Jesus
already paid.

Note that Colossians 2:14 gives us in part, at least, the
cross Jesus bore. "Blotting out the handwriting of
ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us,
and took it out of the way, nailing it to HIS CROSS."
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him
the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6.

He took all the things that were against us; the
transgressions, the sins, the bondage, the sickness, and the
pain and made it apart of His cross. "His cross" is a figure
of speech, an orientalism.

"For he" (God) "hath made him" (Jesus) "to be sin for
us, . . . that we might be made the righteousness of God in
him." That we might be made as righteous as God.
II Corinthians 5:21. Isn't that wonderful!! You say, "me"?
Yes, you.

The cross of bondage is what Jesus bore. "Stand fast
therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us
free, . . . " Hath is in the past. How hath he made us free?
By him bearing that cross, the cross of bondage, which He
bore for us. ". . . and be not entangled again with the yoke
of bondage." Galatians 5:1. He bore that cross of
bondage, the law, just for you and for me, that we
wouldn't need to live under bondage, "which neither your
fathers, or we were able to bear." Acts 15:10.
"And when even was come, they brought unto him
many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the
spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:" Jesus
did this with His Word. "That it might be fulfilled which
was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Himself took
our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses." Matthew 8:
16,17. He bore our sicknesses. Not only was His cross
composed of our transgressions and sins, plus the
bondage of the law, but of our sicknesses. He became
sickness just like He became sin. The very last clause of
Isaiah 53:5 says ". . . and with his stripes we are healed."
In Isaiah 53:3, 4, we read "He is despised and rejected
of men; a man of sorrows (pains), and acquainted with
grief (sickness): and we hid as it were our faces from him;
he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath
borne (carried or put on Him) our griefs (sicknesses), and
carried our sorrows (pains). . . "
The cross of Jesus — what was it? "They led him
away and he bearing HIS CROSS —," the cross of Jesus
was, of sin, bondage, sickness and pain.

The "natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit
of God," and these are the things of the Spirit of God.
The natural man has made the cross of Jesus a wooden
cross. The Word and the spiritual man know it was the
cross of sin, bondage, sickness and pain. You can see why
a wooden cross could not do anything, but the cross of
Jesus did.

"For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the
gospel; not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ
should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the
cross" (The wooden cross? No, the cross of Christ) "is to
them that perish foolishness; . . . " I Corinthians 1:17, 18.
Why does a millionaire act like a millionaire? Because
he BELIEVES he is a millionaire. Does he have a million
dollars laying in front of him? No! All he has is the
broker's report that says he has so much in bonds and
stocks. He has his banker's report and balance sheet
indicating he has so much money in the bank, so much in
this and so much in that. He has his attorney's record.
ALL WRITING — but he BELIEVES it. And when he
wants something what does he do? He buys it. Why?
Because he believes what is written. He believes the legal
documents set before him indicating that he is a
millionaire.

The Bible is the legal document for you. This is your
broker's report, your bank account, your attorney's record.
If a man of the world can walk by WORDS we as sons of
God can walk by HIS WORD. We must walk like it, talk
like it, act like it. I don't care what you say, or anybody
says, I am and have what The Word says. Anything others
say won't change what The Word says I am and I have. I
believe what God says.

We must claim the promises of God like a business
man can claim the promises of what he has accomplished.
Why not? "God is not a man that He should lie." The
Word is God Himself. The Word of God is the Will of
God. It means what it says and says what it means.
The natural man, Satan and all his corps of workers do
not want you to understand that this cross of Christ took
care of all your needs. No, he wants you to believe it is a
wooden cross — something you get splintered up on, beat
down with, hung up on, by condemnation, sin, judgment,
frustration, fear and defeat. God says you are free because
Christ bore everything contrary to you, nailing it to HIS
CROSS. The enemies of the cross of Christ are those who
do not believe or accept what Jesus did.

Stand fast, therefore, in the Lord. Jesus bore His cross
— not of wood, but of sin and all its consequences, so that
you could live the more abundant life. The wooden cross
was borne by Simon of Cyrene, the spiritual cross by,
Jesus.

Simon Of Cyrene
When we consider the galaxies of personalities about
the cross, we uncover a variety of men. The soldiers were
there to see that the law was properly enforced and that
the crucifixion went off according to schedule. The
Jewish priests and rabbis, plus the majority of the
members of the Jewish court of law, the Sanhedrin were
there to see that the Roman soldiers did their work properly and that this Jesus of Nazareth be put out of the way
this time. A few of the disciples and close friends of Jesus
were intermingled with the crowd to see their favorite star
of hope wain into death; they loved Him as the redeemer
of Israel, but they had come to stand at a distance to see
their last ray of hope pass on.

Yet, the majority of people gathered at the cross were
merely curiosity seekers. They had perhaps never heard of
the condemned man before, but because so many went,
they too followed. You know how we flock to see a train
wreck or an automobile accident — likewise these hordes
of people followed the crowd. And yet, there was one
man at the foot of the cross who did not want to be there.
He had no more desire to beat the crucifixion than you or
I have to be present at the electrocution of a criminal, and
yet he was there. If you had told this man yesterday that
today he would be an important character in the
crucifixion of a criminal, he would have laughed, but he
was there.

Yes, among the personalities gathered about the
crucifixion there are many prominent men like, Pilate,
Caiaphas, the Centurion, and others. They were broadway
lights in the contemporary setting of the time; they were
key men. But I should like to have you forget about those
big and important men around the cross and think with me
about a little fellow, a man who was just an average man.
He wasn't a big ruler, he wasn't an important man at all.
He was just a common man like most of us; as a matter of
fact, he did not want to be at the crucifixion, but he was
there.

Matthew, Mark and Luke each give us just one verse
about this man which is all the information we have
concerning him.

Matthew 27:32, "And as they came out, they found a
man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to
bear His 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." 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."

Yes, the man who didn't want to be there, ended up
being one of the chief personalities around the cross,
Simon from the city of Cyrene. All he wanted was to be
left alone. To be allowed to go his way. He was coming
out of the country from the region beyond the gates and
evidently he was on his way to Jerusalem to attend the big
temple celebration, the Passover, when all at once his
plans were changed, as a matter of fact his whole life took
on a different tenor.

To this man it must have been an extreme annoyance
and indignity. He had business of his own to take care of.
His family or his friends might be waiting for him, but he
was turned the opposite way. To touch the instrument of
death, the cross, was as revolting to him as it would be for
us to handle the hangman's rope, or press the button in the
electrocution chamber; perhaps more so, because it was
Passover time and this act would make him ceremonially
unclean. All he wanted was to be left alone, and yet, had
Simon entered the city one hour sooner or one hour later,
his later history might have been entirely different.
Sometimes when we want to be alone, when we want no
one to interfere with us, it is just then that the interference
may make all the difference in the world. The greatest
results may hinge on the smallest circumstances.
Doubtless to Simon this encounter seemed at the moment
the most unfortunate incident that could have befallen him
— an interruption, an annoyance, and humiliation; yet it
turned out to be the gateway of life.

Are you spiritually in the condition that you just want
to be alone? The interruption of Christ into your life right
now will make all the difference in the world for you, for
your children and children's children. It made a great
difference for Simon.

We are apt to speak of trouble as a kind of cross, but
properly speaking, the cross of Christ is that which he
bore on our behalf. The scorn, loss and censure, is the
cross of Christ, that we might have joy in speaking to
another in Christ's name. The time we give in Christian
work, the giving of our means that the cause of Christ
may spread at home and abroad, and that we manifest the
power of God in our lives, yes, this is the living, joyous
cross we bear. "He that taketh not his cross and followeth
after me is not worthy of me."

". . . Simon a Cyrenian. . . , the father of Alexander and
Rufus." Evidently the two sons of Simon were well
known to those to whom Mark was writing The
compelling of Simon to bear the cross issued in his
salvation and issued in the salvation of his house. Let me
ask you this question and then be honest with yourself —
Are you the kind of parent that your children can be proud
of? Will they, 25 years from now, remember you because
of the heritage you extended to them? Are you setting a
good example for your children? Are you leading your
children to Christ or away from Him? Listen, the Bible
says, "so then every one of us shall give account of
himself to God." Some day you and I as parents must give
an account of our lives. Did we live so that our children
were influenced for good? Did we instruct them in what
we would like to have them do and then we continued to
live any old way? Look at your child this moment, are
you a real parent to him? Are you a Christian?