Cowboys, farmers, oil workers or anyone who lifts heavy stuff knows what I’m talking about.
There is that guy who is always picking up the lighter end, leaving the heavier end for you.
Whether its the branding pot or the portable genset some guys always manage to get the lighter end of things.
With Easter now passed, but Jesus still risen, it is helpful to see that
Charles Spurgeon looked at the example of Simon of Cyrene who was conscripted to carry Jesus’ cross on the way to Golgotha. Spurgeon said that Simon’s example applies to us whom Jesus summoned to “take up your cross and follow me”:
Do not forget…that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end. (Morning and Evening).
Now in Spurgeon’s example of Simon, he is applying it to Christian believers. He is talking about sanctification, not salvation. There is no sense in which a person can contribute to their salvation. There is not even a bit of ‘light lifting’ that a sinner can offer in order to partner with Jesus to save himself. As the old hymn put it:
Jesus paid it all,
All to him I owe,
Sin has left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
But for the follower, who belongs to Jesus, and who is called to suffer with Christ, their suffering is described as cross-bearing (Matt 16.24, Luke 14.27).
Sometimes we can make a really big deal of our sufferings, going on and on about how bad we have it. As Paul said, however, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor 4.17).
Even in our ‘crosses’ Jesus is carrying the load. Even our ‘lifting’ is only possible because of his grace.
Yet his grace allows us to always be picking up the lighter end.