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. (Luke 23:26)

So far as atonement is concerned, the Lord has trodden the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with him; but as far as the conversion of the world is concerned, and its rescue from the power of error and wickedness, Christ is not alone.

We are workers together with God. We are ourselves to be in the hands of God part bearers of the sorrow and travail by which men are to be delivered from the bondage of sin and Satan and brought into the liberty of truth and righteousness.

Hence, it became important that in the bearing of the cross, though not in the death upon it, there should be yoked with the Christ one who should follow close behind him. To bear the cross after Jesus is the office of the faithful.

Simon the Cyrenian is the representative of the whole church of God and of each believer in particular. Often had Jesus said, “Except a man take up his cross daily, and follow me, he cannot be my disciple”; and now at last he embodies that sermon in an actual person.

The disciple must be as his Master: he who would follow the Crucified must himself bear the cross: this we see visibly set forth in Simon of Cyrene with the cross of Jesus laid upon his shoulder.

Shall Simon bear the cross alone,
And all the rest go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
And there’s a cross for me. ((Charles SpurgeonAt the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], September 7.))

Charles Spurgeon

Further reading