“For if men do these things when the tree is green,
what will happen when it is dry?”
And so they placed the cross on Jesus shoulders and led Him staggering towards the place of execution. On the way they met Simon of Cyrene and, because the weight of the cross was almost too much for the Lord, they made him carry it for Him. Simon might not have been too happy at the time but afterwards may have counted it his greatest privilege.
A large number of people followed this grim and slow procession including ‘women who mourned and wailed for Him.’ These must have included those who had followed Him in His ministry and helped to support Him and His disciples. There would have been Mary His mother as well as Mary Magdalen and possibly the sisters Martha and Mary. With them could have been many of the women of the city as well.
At one point Jesus turned to them and gave a prophetic warning of the terrible times to come – times so bad that the women without children to suffer would be counted the more fortunate.
And then He gave a final warning. If men to these things even to Him whilst He is in their midst what shocking things may they do when He is gone. Indeed we can see it in ourselves. There are things we would never contemplate whilst in church on Sundays. However from Monday to Friday they may well become a part of our lives and living.
Lent gives us an opportunity to ask of ourselves – “Do I walk all day and every day with the Lord, or do I merely walk behind Him and watch?”
(Picture: Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, Raphael)