For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed. Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “fall on us” and to the hills, “cover us” for if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:29-31
My name is Simon, I am known as Simon the Cyrenian. My two sons Alexander and Rufus along with me were visiting Jerusalem on that day when they were taking Jesus to be crucified. We were among the crowds experiencing a mixture of curiosity, anger and for some pain as they were crying.
I was pressed into service to take His cross. At that moment, I was confused and afraid for my life! Certainly I had heard of Jesus. He certainly was the talk of the town and as everyone else, I was curious of His teachings and miracles. Little did I know that this day was going to be a life changer for me. A miracle I wasn’t expecting!
I was to carry His cross and follow behind Him. By this time, He was covered in blood from all the torture He had received and He was physically exhausted. He was barely able to keep moving forward much less carry a cross. I felt compassion for Him and I was also perplexed of the contradiction. Everyone spoke of the miracles He had performed and here He was, walking this road to death. Why was He not rescuing Himself out of this one?
There were some women crying and following right behind us. You would think that He had nothing more to give at this time. You would think that through His pain and suffering, there was nothing else for Him to say or do but to be engulfed in the little that appeared to be left of Him. That was not the case.
He turned to the women and asked them to stop weeping for Him. He said the following: “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed”
Then they will begin to say to the mountains “fall on us” and to the hills “cover us” For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry? These sayings were engraved in my mind and as I ponder upon them I understood what He was saying.
I believed He was saying that in the end times, things would get so bad that women would mourn over the fate of their children and those that did not have them would be considered blessed. He was also saying that if while He was here, they missed recognizing Him, rejected and treated Him with such evil, how much more evil were they to commit as the time was to move further away from the time of His visitation?
Times will become so futile that people would want to die instead of facing such dread. Later, such revelation was given to John and written in the book of Revelation; particularly chapters eight and nine. His physical pain on that road to the cross did not seem to be as great as His emotional pain when explaining the future of mankind. Along with us, there were two criminals that were being led to be crucified as well. They were both listening to Jesus as I was.
Carrying that cross caused me to gain my life. It is believed that there was a change in my family and community because of my following of Jesus and carrying His cross. It is most certain that when Mark spoke of my two children with such familiarity in Mark 15:21, he did so because they too, shared in His cross, death and resurrection and were part of the movement that started building up His church. Such information can be found in Romans 16:13
Are you carrying the cross and following Jesus? You might consider yourself to be a simple outsider, but after you follow Him, after you share in His cross, I can assure you that you will never be the same.