Updated: Jan 25
Remember that old 1950's "Ten Commandments Movie"? The one black person I recall seeing in that movie was the man forced to carry Jesus's cross for him on the way to being crucified. And in some versions of the Bible, the only time I've noticed mention of an African, was when Jesus was walking to his death, to be crucified. The guards pressed into service an African man named Simon that was in town for Passover, to carry Jesus's cross for him.
My first thought about this was... why does it always have to be the black man that's forced into manual labor. But then... a feeling like I got smacked in the spirit overcame me. Check this out...
That day Simon carried Jesus's cross wasn't just a random day, or a random task for a random dude. This was JESUS we are talking about here. And that day was, THE day. The purpose for which Jesus was born. Gods design was all over that day. Nothing on that day happened by chance. Peter denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed, just as Jesus predicted. And an African man was chosen to carry the cross of Jesus.
I hear people say all the time, "I'd gladly, < substitute some menial task here> , just to see my favorite celebrity or idol". And that person may not love you and certainly didn't lay down their life for you to save yours. And maybe their fall from grace is just a news day story away.
So what about Jesus? Jesus was alive, lived a good life and then willingly died a brutal death for you - so that you could have a new life full of joy and contentment. What an HONOR it was to be chosen - to be pressed into service to carry Jesus's cross. I wonder if Jesus said anything to Simon.
In the Bible it says, if a man presses you to go one mile with him, go with him two.
God's design and plan was all over that day. Nothing happened that God didn't plan out. So the way I see it ... Jesus specifically choose the African to go with Him and carry His cross.
And now is the time, to go that second mile for Jesus. Continue to carry His cross. Continue to carry on his work of leading others to Gods' loving arms and forgiveness. This is what we've been called to do.
When insulted, return not insult; if we suffer don't threaten in return; love everyone; lead others to love God more than caring about anything the world has to offer.
And by carrying Jesus's cross, we actually feel lighter. As the chains and burdens of this world come off. Your true self is revealed. Jesus's helper. Not white or black or Asian or Spanish or punk or goth or the life of the party or a techie or the athlete. Not rich or poor or the perfect mom or the prettiest in the room or the best player on the team or any other label we're attached to. Our enemy wants us to be attached to labels and become weighed down by things of the world or get weighed down by shame and guilt. But the world is passing away. Don't go down with it. It's a new day - let God make you anew too.
See you in the next post!