This week there are lots of preachers making plans for a dynamic Easter Sunday sermon, and many other ministers who are busy watching and planning for the day they’ll get to have their own church. There are also lots of Christians who are planning how they can use their gifts for the Kingdom. And those are all noble endeavors. God needs pastors, preachers, prophets, and evangelists. But Resurrection Day is not just about those who stand in the spotlight and proclaim the good news. And more importantly, we don’t all have to plan to make an impact for God. All we really need to do is watch out for opportunities while we are going about our days, doing what we have to do. You never know, God may call on you to make a huge impact in a small way while you are out for a walk.
One day a black man named Simon was passing through Jerusalem on his way in from the country. He probably had his 2 sons with him. He wasn’t expecting to be a part of history or have his name and his sons’ names recorded in the book that will be read by billions of people for thousands of years. But as he stood in a crowd watching a commotion along the road, he noticed some men struggling to make it up the hill. The men were guarded by Roman centurions who clearly had beaten and abused them terribly. One of the victims in particular had clearly been tortured almost beyond recognition. Simon thought about his sons who were standing by. He grew concerned that they would be traumatized from seeing such a gruesome display of violence. But before he could grab them and turn away, the beaten man, a Jew, stumbled badly and fell at his feet. The gasp from the crowd would have startled Simon if he hadn’t already been jolted by the pain from the man’s cross falling on his foot. He instinctively reached down to help the prisoner up when a centurion stepped between them. “If you want to help, carry that cross!” He said. And with that Simon of Cyrene was immortalized as the first man to heed Jesus’ word, take up His cross and follow Him.
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