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Matthew 27:32 NLT “32 Along the way, they came across a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.” Mark 15:21 NLT “21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.” Luke 23:26 NLT “26 As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.” From these concise biblical accounts, Simon of Cyrene was probably a victim of circumstance who was held by the Roman soldiers against his will in order to carry Jesus’ cross. He probably feared for his own life given the situation at hand and therefore did not resist their demands. What this does signify to me is Simon of Cyrene was simply carrying out orders because he had no choice whereas as Jesus willingly carried His cross for us His Church. In my view, for us to try and read more into Simon of Cyrene’s life other than what is already mentioned in the bible is unbiblical.
While we should not add to what is in the Bible, or make unfounded suppositions, all the information that IS given in Scripture was inspired and put there for a reason. Mark 15:21 makes a point of specifically mentioning that Simon of Cyrene (in modern-day Libya) -- as random as his participation in Christ's crucifixion may appear to have been -- was the father of Alexander and Rufus. To me, the only purpose of including this information would have been if the names of Simon's sons would have been recognizable to the original audience of Mark's gospel (that is, the early Christian church) through their involvement in the church. Thus, even if Simon himself was compelled to carry Christ's cross, his action ultimately resulted in salvation through the gospel message being brought to other people and geographical regions, and indicates that God can use events that occur through the most seemingly chance and even unwilling circumstances for His own glory.
Simon was a Cyrenian who was compelled to bear the cross after Jesus and who was the father of Alexander and Rufus (Matt. 27:32). Shortly after, Jesus bore the cross, not only for Simon but for all men (1 Peter 2:24; 2 Peter 2:1). 1 Peter 2:24 says concerning Christ, "Who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by Whose stripes you were healed."
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