Throughout the bible there is a recurring theme that we should rely on God for help. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7) And again Jesus promises to help us with our burdens if we but ask, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 12:28-30).
That’s all well and good, but we are human. We tend to lack faith. We tend to lay down our crosses and just give up. God realized that. He realized how quickly we, as humans, tend to feel beaten down, deserted, alone in the face of trial. Even Jesus felt it. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).
We know there is a Heavenly God, but sometimes we need a human touch.
There is a line in the bible that fills my heart with joy. It’s a line that at first glance seems so insignificant that you have probably read it a million times, but in a rush to get on with the story, you’ve probably never stopped to think about what lies behind the words. It’s in Luke, chapter 23, verse 26. “As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.” Do you know that passage? That one little line in the bible is where Jesus tells us we’re not meant to make this journey alone. We are meant to accept help…not just offer it.
As Christians, we are called to give. “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me…” (Matthew 25:35). It is often easy to give. It’s human nature to help, to be kind, to lend a hand when needed. It’s not so easy to accept help. We raise our children to be independent. We take pride in doing things on our own. We like imagining ourselves as superheroes, juggling as many balls as we can. But even Jesus accepted help…right there on the way to his death…just when he was feeling forsaken, God sent a human hand to help ease the burden. This is pivotal…here Jesus is showing that we, as Christians, are not only called to give but to accept. And to accept with humility. To accept without argument. Just to accept.
Jesus is God’s Son. He is one of three persons in the Holy Trinity. Jesus is God made man. He has major power. We know that. We watched as he performed miracles, so we know that he could have picked up that cross and sprinted to Golgotha. But he didn’t. He struggled. He fell. Not once. Three times. He struggled…the entire way. And when the soldiers called to Simon, Jesus humbly accepted help. Notice there’s no verse in the bible that tells how Jesus tried to deny the help. No verse that tells how Jesus was prideful, claiming that he didn’t really need the help. Nope, none of that. It simply says, “they made him carry it behind Jesus.” Jesus accepted, without a word, without a struggle. How often can you say the same thing?