The Way of Sorrows

David Bast

READ : Luke 23:26-33

. . . they seized one Simon of Cyrene . . . and laid on him the cross. (v. 26 ESV)

There is a street in Jerusalem known as the “Via Dolorosa,” the “Way of Sorrows.” It is the route Christ is believed to have followed when he was led, carrying his cross, from the judgment hall of Pilate to the place of execution. Weakened by beatings, Jesus wasn’t strong enough to make it all the way to Golgotha. So the soldiers grabbed a man to help him—one Simon, from Cyrene in north Africa. The fact that Simon’s name is noted in the gospels, and that Mark even mentions the names of his two sons (Mark 15:21), indicates that he and his family were known in the early church. Apparently, Simon, who only met Jesus when he took up his cross, somehow came to know him in a deeper way later on.

We all need to emulate Simon. Jesus said that those who would be his disciples must deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow him (Luke 9:23). It doesn’t cost much to become a follower of Jesus; it costs everything. But if we are willing to join Jesus on the way of the cross, we discover another gospel paradox. The Way of Sorrows becomes the Way of Joy, the road to heaven.


Lord, help me deny myself, take up my cross, and follow you today.