7741 - On the Road
(Original script will not match edited audio completely)
After Pilate’s act of yieldedness to the demand of the mob who called for the crucifixion of Jesus, he surrendered Jesus to the soldiers. The trip to Golgotha began with Jesus bearing his own cross; but Jesus had been beaten and abused so badly throughout his sleepless night, that he staggered and could not carry his own cross any farther. But let me read Luke 23:26-32 which, describes what happened on the road to Golgotha.
As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, `Blessed are the barren women and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' Then "`they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!" “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.
Simon of Cyrene, a foreigner, was conscripted by the soldiers to take up the cross, which Jesus didn’t have the strength to carry, and to follow behind Jesus in the procession.
Cyrene is a city on the north coast of Africa. The records do not tell us whether Simon was a Jew, but he possibly was, because many Jews lived in Cyrene and journeyed to Jerusalem for Passover. However, that is not certain because the Roman soldiers had the authority to coerce people for duty at any time. He would have faced the consequence if he had refused. He has been viewed in history as one who was blessed to carry the cross of Christ. Nothing else is known about this Simon.
As the beaten and weary Jesus was prodded along the road with the other two men who had been sentenced to be executed on a cross, a large crowd of people followed after them.
This group, following along behind Jesus had many in it who were sympathetic to him and they mourned and wailed for him. Many women were included in this crowd who wept for him.
At some point in the journey Jesus turned to this encouraging group and spoke to them: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breast that never nursed!’ Then they will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘cover us!’
Here Scripture was a tool in the words of Jesus because the last part of his words were a quotation of Hosea 10:8.
He continued to say, “For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Some scholars view these words as a third and final lament for the city of Jerusalem. Jesus knew that in about forty years the Romans would overrun Jerusalem, destroying every building and home. At that time the nation of Israel would cease to be. The Jewish people would be disbursed around the entire world.
The reference to women who were barren and would be considered blessed referred to the extreme hardship, which mothers with children would face in those future days of great hardship.
In his ministry Jesus had called the Jewish people to repentance and to turn back to God; but as a nation they did not heed. Jesus was warning judgment would follow.
We see Jesus was not alone in this ‘funeral’ procession. Two other criminals were also led out to be executed.
Finally they would arrive at Calvary (which is the Latin word for skull). It was also called Golgotha (the Aramaic work for skull). This was a hillside, which had depressions in the rock which made the place resemble a skull. Here they would be placed on three crosses.
We will view this scene in a future study.
This scene outside of Jerusalem is a focal point of history. Old testament saints, in faith, looked forward the Messiah’s work. The New Testament saints look back to when Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of all mankind.