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October 10, 2022 6:00 am
Pastor Rick has a topical message
So Simon's shoulders were allowed to carry the cross of Christ, so that Christ's cross could save Simon's soul on the way there is on the way to the cross and is doing business. It is amazing. It is deep. We want depth in Christ in our lives comes off the pages and it works its way into our lives to the Holy Spirit filters. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Genesis. Please stay with us after today's message more information about cross reference radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of Mark chapter 15 as he begins his message Simon.
This Iranian a good day to be African.
If you have your Bibles that's open to the gospel according to Mark chapter 15 this is the final in a series. For now, life and times of the people of the Bible and thanks character I think is a surprise to me and hopefully a special one to all of us the title of the message and with its characters name included is Simon. This Iranian good day to be African.
How text is Mark's gospel chapter 15 verse 21 then they compel the certain man, Simon.
This Iranian father of Alexander and Rufus as he was coming out of the country and passing by to bear his cross. Most of us know the story and in this verse and the parallel sections in the gospel that talk about this moment. Of course Jesus the Lord is is on his way to the crucifixion and pretty almost as soon as they come out. Of the courts into the public area.
They have to find someone to help him carry the cross. I want to get ahead of myself as much to discuss. But just here in the verse in verse 21 then they compel the certain man they force to someone he was a conscript at that moment Simon Ace Iranian site will get to where that is momentarily but then identifies man was going to help the Lord carry the cross doesn't sound right but it is right, father of Alexander and Rufus will that is critical again will get to that this this narrows down the field of candidates as to who this is in the Bible as he was coming out of the country that is Simon passing by to bear his cross. Another face around the cross of Christ in exhibit many of them and we've discussed some as we've gone through this series. There were the century and the was the century and in the soldiers with him. For example there was Mary the mother of the Lord there were many of them as mentioned, this character leaps into fame and MR talents. He also is the man who carried the wooden cross of Christ. Mark specifies his birthplace. At least his hometown names his two sons to help locate him later in Scripture's is a stroke of the Holy Spirit that only he could do. Mark wrote this no doubt he knew Alexander and Rufus and so he mentions them. Paul's going to bring them up. 20 years later.
Also see them in the church. Not long after this, not Alexander and Rufus alone, but also Simon. I think the Holy Spirit also took the time to name Alexander as opposed to the Alexander the coppersmith who did Paul much harm. So here we haven't separated this Alexander, the son of Simon.
This Iranian is not the Alexander the coppersmith don't confuse and that's with the Holy Spirit is saying to us, so this is neither insignificant or out of place.
It is very resourceful, such verse is this fact. The way I became the verse with tonight was just in my devotions reading through the Gospel of Mark in chapter 15 and it just jumped out at me.
At first the symbolist is in August is not enough information about Simon to commit to a solid opinion that is fruitful for the work of the kingdom, but I think I was wrong.
Holy Spirit began to point things out to me would let it go. And here we are tonight. Now Jesus was an extraordinary physical condition Jerusalem as well as Israel is a land of inclines is just everywhere you're going you're going up you when you going downhill. You getting ready to go back uphill and to go up the mountains to go to the different villages to travel along the roads. One would have to be very fit that's important to this story because the reason why Mark and the other gospel writers have this in here is to show us that his flesh had limitations that he chose not to override this would go against those who would like to creep into the church magical and miss mythical ideas we we have enough of in Roman Catholicism. For example, there always reading some strange thing into the Scripture that's not there. It's good exercise. The study of any Christian God's word to never read miracles into the moment.
You don't have to. They will show themselves that they're all over the pages in this story, but the Lord allowed himself to be limited in the flesh via Delarosa or dolorous.
The Latin the way of sufferings would normally have been just a short stroll outside the city, but because of the scourging because of the loss of blood in the dehydration. This could become an almost impossible walk for the Christ while carrying the cross and so our Lord allowed Simon at this point in the story to join him. He allowed the strain of the flesh to create the situation and is is really going to get at least to me.
Very fascinating, very human and very powerful all at the same time so his carriage of the cross was appropriate it was appropriate that a man carried the cross to the place of the skull. Why was never belong to Jesus Christ. He was sinless. If anybody should not carry that cross it was Jesus Christ that was one of the many statements at this moment.
Why he allowed it to go down as it as it did Isaiah chapter 53 verse four Shirley, he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows that we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, inflicted he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. Now chastisement the chastisement for our peace was upon him by his stripes we are healed. That's what is going on in the story, though none of them know it except the one fulfilling it. So Simon's shoulders were allowed to carry the cross of Christ, so that Christ's cross could save Simon sold on the way here is on the way to the cross and is doing business. It is amazing. It is deep. We want depth in Christ in our lives comes with the pages and it works its way into our lives to the Holy Spirit of filters.
It and this is what creates hunger and thirst for righteousness way to need help at some point in our Christian walk to carry our cross, we need to help each other from time to time carry the cross lighthearted life is a sinner and especially once you have those of of holiness. So here's what we do know about Simon.
In addition to his being brought into the carriage of the cross. We know that he was an African styrene is a coastal city in north Africa.
It is just west of Egypt, and that part of the world, now known as Libya.
We know that he was a convert to Judaism see his name. Simon, Simon, it's not us Iranian name that is a Jewish name and we also know that he was dark skinned, very important part of the story. That means he was ethnically African and it is because he was dark skinned that he was chosen to carry the cross very human way and when we get to that. Hope you have your own idiocies. Why are we told that his skin is dark and where are we told that his skin was dark.
Acts chapter 13. I point this out as many scholars don't want him to be dark skinned they want him to be a Jew who lived in Sirena came back to Jerusalem, but I think the Scripture refutes that very very clearly though you get to dig a little bit accept 13 verse one now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers Barnabas Simon who is called Niger.
That's him right next to Barnabas is one of the pastors in the church at Antioch in Syria. That church surpassed it eclipsed the church in Jerusalem while the church at church in Jerusalem was fussing over circumcision and meet the church at Antioch was reaching Jews from all over the world and slowly getting it ready for this influx of Gentiles that would come in, so much so that Paul evacuated Jerusalem and went to Antioch and it was from Antioch in this very same section of Scripture that the Holy Spirit said separate to me. Paul and Barnabas and all leave this church in the hands of these other prophets and teachers. Simon who is called Niger. That's the same man I used to doubt this in Scripture I could get it and see if you didn't come out and say no this is the same as I thought well it might not be a subsequent study has a turn the lights on for me. I think of the Lord saying you can discern the weather but you can't tell the seasons in spirit. Are you a teacher of the law and you don't know these things, Nicodemus.
I don't want to say that is what you know it when I look at this it is right there Niger. That word is Latin.
Well the black is where Nigeria it's connected Nigeria gets its name. The country just south of of Libya today is Niger not the same as Nigeria neighboring country to Libya. The Niger River.
The Black River in our society.
This creates alarms in the heads of some folks and unfortunately that is how it is that I'm not going to allow that to dictate to me what the Scripture says is being called black was not an insult was an honorary distinction. This is Shimon. We call him black racial things that belong to our society. Every people have learned to hate some other people, regardless of skin color. Do you know in Bhutan is persecution from the more pureblood Bhutanese against the May policies that have been there for 400 years in the land they look the same persecution one against the other.
Nonetheless, sickening that you got into a Bible study any bring up racism, but that's how it is not going to get away from that.
When I can let that in fact what we're looking at here. This man was a leader in the church at Antioch and the Scripture when they say we called him. This is the Holy Spirit saying this is the black skinned man from Sirena who carried the cross and cutbacks up and let you chew on that for minute because the Scripture doesn't have a problem with people who have not thought matters through may have a great big problem with what you going to have a bigger problem with the God of the word. If you don't allow this to be reconciled.
Now I had two sons Alexander will get back to the dark skinned of Simon because it's important to the story. As I mentioned, but he had two sons Alexander and Rufus as we specified and wife by God. These were known in the early church as service over 20 years later, in Romans 16 pulses great Rufus, chosen in the Lord and his mother and mine see what this Rufus was a pretty common name back then yeah but the Holy Spirit is linking it, connecting it, Mark knew his readers who were Roman. Primarily, he wrote to the Roman thinking to the Roman mind to the Christians dispersed under the influence of Rome. The Holy Spirit new that when Mark was told or impress to write these names that he would use it again. This is going to resurface. I would use this later in Scripture. And so there we see Rufus in the church and his mother 20 years later and the math works perfectly young mom 20 years later no problems with that. But back to this complexion. It was the dark skinned that awarded him the right to carry the cross.
According to the law of these Romans.
It was an exclusive task in all the universe he gets it. Without that without this complexion. He would've missed the moment Whitney been his critical selection. Why is that well when they were leaving the courts and on their way to Golgotha.
Jesus was physically spent as stated, the century and knew he wasn't going to make it already knew see the other two.
They had their breakfast.
They want scourge that neither had been sitting in confinement. They had their breakfast and off to the cross. They went to the Lord was up all night. He was abused physically and severely just the Roman scourge was enough to strike fear into anyone. Forget about the cross that this makes it worse with the scourge of you just going to give me the scourge of something to tremble over and so the century knew he wasn't going to make it so soon as he stepped out and looked into the crowd.
He said I need to find somebody to carry this cross for this man come not carried my soldiers are not going to carry the cross was a shameful thing he could have a Jew carry it either, so they compel the certain man, it says here in our text in Mark 15 and this would turn out to be a good day for this African didn't know it at the time. I mentioned this was early in the March that he was suddenly seized. Matthew chapter 27 verse 32 we read now as they came out they found a man of siring Simon by name him they compel to bear his cross as they came out.
That's how spent the flesh of the Lord was so the current century and looking for a candidate that he could force to carry the cross less than a mile to Calvary, he couldn't think that you Jew woodcarver could've called to see if this was Passover season. Don't forget the city was loaded with Jewish men.
They were it was mandated by God that the Jew come to Jerusalem for the Passover. That's why Simon the convert to Judaism was in Jerusalem. That's why we are told in Matthew 15 2150 was coming out of the country and passing by.
He was going into the city.
Coming out of the country it's it's put there so we can understand the moment. Now I will say that as he scanned the crowd.
Had he saw saw a Chinese man that Chinese man would've been a candidate had he saw a Nordic a blue-eyed blonde standing there that individual would've been the camp as a would've been distinct from the rest of the Jews Chinese man was there no Viking was there, but there was this African clearly distinct from everyone around him. That's the one that got the position. That's the one that qualified. He was outstanding in many ways and so during this Passover season, flooded with men, this obedient convert to Judaism is put to shame.
It's a shameful thing the cross was nothing good about it at all. There was no unless he knew who this was carrying the cross, which it was not possible for him to know this was nothing but shame and shame for knew the disciples to carry this to even be associated with the cross to even touch it would've been unacceptable. Luke's gospel chapter 23 verse 26 Simon S. Iranian who was coming from the country in on him. They laid the cross that he might bear it. After Jesus and so he's walking behind the Lord obedient to Judaism. Having no choice he dared not resist the Roman authority they would've killed him on the spot's another insight into the man that he's in Jerusalem to be obedient. We find that he is zealous. It sort of reminds us of Cornelius in acts chapter 10. He too was a convert to Judaism.
He was known for his dedication to God and his zeal for the Jew. This was the same type of man and Simon now it's interesting that when Luke says Simon a Ceridian who is coming out of the country that were there articles in the Greek denotes a cultivated field.
Remember, less than two months is going to be harvests celebrated by the Pentecost, the bringing of the firstfruits was he taking a shortcut through the field they have business there is not said it's irrelevant. Perhaps he had a friend who owned the field. We was staying with Jerusalem would've been crowded. He might've been sleeping outside in the field would've been almost no room for him to find a place even to this day to get an apartment overlooking the Temple Mount.
You will pay big money and in the Jews. Many of them that own these apartments may only come once a year to those apartments, but their source zealous for they won't give it up until special Jerusalem is to be in the heart of any Jew who considers himself a child of the law of Moses and this man was one of those. So now it's 9 o'clock in the morning. He's getting an early start on morning worship then is now shame that is attached to this specified for us and ask who offers up to Hebrews chapter 12 verse two looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. For the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame you would think the writer would say he endured the cross, despising the pain of the pain is in the same to be associated with this object. So this is what's going through again. Simon said accept the five so they departed from the presence of the Council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name for this didn't belong to this servant. This did not even belong to the apostles. They did not know how yet to suffer shame without the Holy Spirit. This is why oftentimes you find someone who confesses Christ believes he is the Lord and Savior is not filled with the Holy Spirit and is afraid to tell people that I am a Christian but I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I want to tell you about the Savior that is my Savior are not filled with the Holy Spirit carry in Jerusalem you shall receive power, you should be my witnesses.
Jesus said going through his mind at this moment when he was picked most of it. How did this happen to me how did I get selected for this.
I don't think for one moment he pieced together what was going to the mind of the century, and because he identified Simon identify with the Julie was one of them. The Roman it's better that way. Life comes at you very quickly. Thank God this happened to me is what he would be saying for the rest of his life story was put together Roman soldier did compel him to carry the cross, the love of Christ, compelled him to never put down move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Pastor Rick is teaching from God's Word each time you tune as we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast is teaching is available free of charge at our website. Just visit cross reference radio.com that's cross reference radio.com would also like to encourage you to subscribe to the cross reference radio podcast subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick you can do email@example.com or search for cross reference in your favorite podcast app store.
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