A Façade of Devoutness

In this week’s series on worship we continue to note that the element of sacrifice in your worship, no matter what it cost you, is not enough to make it acceptable to God. Our central figure, Simon of Cyrene, sacrificed for Jesus at the point of Jesus’ greatest moment of weakness. However, he was ignored by Jesus for the simple reason that his sacrifice was neither voluntary nor cheerful.

Let’s go back in time to that Crucifixion Day. Imagine Simon going up that hill carrying the cross for Jesus. The soldiers are hitting Jesus, tormenting Him, and torturing Him. The crowd is wild with glee. The Pharisees and the Chief priests, of course, are full of malicious satisfaction. They are thrilled because finally, after so much planning, they had Jesus right where they wanted Him — en route his death.

Amidst all this murderous frenzy, one man stands out: Simon of Cyrene. He is carrying Jesus’ cross up the mountain in stark contrast to the madness around him. Simon of Cyrene too is sweating, suffering, and in great pain; just like Jesus.

I can see those around starring at him in utter amazement. Some are thinking that Simon must be a very devout man.  They must have thought, “Wow, What a saint!”

Everybody is laughing at Jesus, tormenting Him, and jeering at His pain; except the ‘devout’ and ‘kind-hearted’ Simon of Cyrene. He is suffering for the Lord. He has just suspended his urgent business, and cleared his schedule, just to help the Lord carry His cross up the mountain.

Unfortunately, Simon’s devoutness was nothing but a façade. Every step that Simon of Cyrene took jp that hill beside Jesus was abhorrent to Jesus.

In the eyes of the people, though, he must have been a very spiritual  man. He must have been regarded as a holy man; a true worshiper  After all, he sacrificed for God.