Jesus moves on along the valley. Now before him appears the hill where he was to be crucified. Not too steep, but steep enough for a man who had suffered the lashes and whose face had been dripping blood due to the crown of thorns he was still wearing. His feet were trembling again. The soldiers were trying to keep abreast the crowds who were gathering along the path. See also the Via Dolorosa and the Fourth Station.
This is the way how a tour is given! For those, who are interested in a tour (the Way of the Cross), contact Wim. It’s a one-day tour, costing $150 (per group, maximum 30 persons). The content of the tour is here, and the stories behind the Way of the Cross will be much more expanded then it is here presented.
They realized that this man was not going to make it. They needed help. They looked among the crowd and saw a sturdy man, Simeon from Cyrene (“A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross” – Mk 15,21). They thought he could help.
He was accompanied by his two young children Alexander and Rufus. They too were questioning their father about what was happening. They had never before seen a crucifixion and like all children they were curious. Their father could not explain to them why, today, the eve of their main celebration, the Romans were executing these three persons. Neither could he explain to them why one of them was bleeding and wearing a crown of thorns.He had been in his fields. He did not know what had happened during the morning.
A Roman soldier moves on to him and with arrogance pushes him over. He was afraid, as were his sons. The Roman soldier tries to explain what he wanted him to do.
And Simeon, seeing the bleeding man, did not hesitate. He came out and took upon his shoulders Jesus’ cross-beam. This was their first meeting and Jesus looked at the man. Who knows what they must have said to each other? Who knows what impression Jesus made on Simeon?
Surely, they moved uphill and Jesus followed suit. Someone on the wayside heard him mumble these words: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11,28-30).