Who Carried The Cross?
Jesus or Simon carry the cross?
In describing Jesus being led to his execution, John 19:17 recounts that he carried
his own cross. But Mark 15:21-23 disagrees by saying a man called Simon carried
you have the answer? I think we can guess the right answer without even
looking at scripture.
Jesus starts to carry the cross, but He has been severely
beaten and is too weak. Then Simon is "volunteered" and carries the
cross the rest of the way. That's the answer.
Here is the scripture:
They took Jesus, therefore,
and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull,
which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two
other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between.
they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments
on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him. They pressed into service a passerby
coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus),
to bear His cross.
John writes that Jesus "went out"
bearing His own cross... he started the walk to Golgotha carrying His cross. John's
point is not to describe who carried the cross, or how Jesus got to Golgatha.
The point is that He went out to the Place of a Skull, and was crucified there.
John's focus is on the crucifixion.
It is interesting that Simon of Cyrene
was pressed into service to carry the cross is mentioned in all the gospels except
John... I wonder what the others have to say.
- As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene
named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.
23:26 - When they led Him away, they seized a man,
Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry
Here's the answer. Simon
of Cyrene would not have been in Pilate's courtyard. In fact, it appears Simon
was traveling, having just come in from the country (being from Cyrene means he
was from an area near Alexandria, Egypt). He was a stranger in town, and had probably
got caught up in the crowd outside Pilate's palace. As John reports, Jesus went
out carrying His cross, but almost immediately it was apparent He could not carry
it. So Simon was pressed into service.
What did we find out here?
There is no contradiction.
for the crucifixion, Matthew 27:44 tells us Jesus was taunted by both criminals
who were being crucified with him. But Luke 23:39-43 relates that only one of
the criminals taunted Jesus, the other criminal rebuked the one who was doing
the taunting, and Jesus told the criminal who was defending him, Today shalt
thou be with me in paradise."
Another easy one... but
here's the answer anyway...