It was Roman law that any soldier could force any person to carry their burden one mile, no more. We hear in Mark how one man, who did not even know Jesus, was forced to carry the cross for him. (15:21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.) What an honor to walk that last mile serving the Savior of the world.
We, who claim to know Jesus, are invited to also walk with him. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves too busy to answer the call to take up the cross and follow. During Holy Week, we are once more offered the opportunity to walk with him. To set aside time and ourselves to remember the cost of our salvation. When the journey of this life is over, will we look into the eyes of our Lord and say, “I was too busy for you” or “I followed.”
During Holy Week, you and your family are invited by Jesus, not forced like Simon of Cyrene, to walk with him.
Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19 25
There is a famous poem about a person walking along a beach called “Footprints.” It is a nice, but incomplete understanding of the faith. It was written to remind us that we are never alone. That even when we think we walked by ourselves, Jesus was always there. As the person looks back, on the beach, is seen either two sets of footprints (when the person walked with Jesus) or only one (when Jesus carried the person through the hard times of life.) In the real Christian life, the beach would have been filled with the footprints of many. No Christian walks only with Jesus, but during their life, they are surrounded, supported and sustained by the community of believers. In our weakness, God gives us our brother and sisters in Christ to walk with us. In our strength, he commends us to walk with them. That stretch of sand would have been filled with all the footprints, small and large, young and old, of those that journeyed with us. As a Christian, you never walk alone. As a Christian, you never allow another believer to walk alone.
Maybe it is time to get up and get walking.