Even Jesus Needed Help Once
Many of us know the story of the crucifixion. We know that he was arrested and faced multiple trials where he would eventually be convicted of speaking against the church of that day. We know that he was beaten, mocked and humiliated. We know that he was forced to wear a crown made of thorns. We know that he was nailed to the cross where he died. Those are the things that we always talk about when it comes to the crucifixion of Jesus. However, there is one element that many times is left out of the story. The fact that Jesus didn’t carry the cross all the way to Golgotha himself.
The Bible says in Matthew 27:32, “And while they were coming out, they saw a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they made him go with them, so that he might take up his cross.”
After being beaten beyond recognition and deprived of sleep, Jesus was simply physically unable to carry a cross. He was still the Son of God. Part of the Holy Trinity, who came from Heaven to save us from our sins. We saw him work miracles, raise the dead, and exercise foreknowledge. He proved that he was who he said he was, but on this day God in flesh needed help, because he was also a man.
So what does that say for us? He was God and man. We are only man. Surely if HE needed help, there are times when we need it too. Now I know what some of you are thinking. “The Bible says God won’t give me more than I can handle.” No, the Bible most certainly does not say those words. That is a dangerous lie. If we believe we won’t get more than we can handle, we’ll continue to try to handle things on our own, that we should ask for God’s help with. And we will continue to fail. People point to 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. God is faithful, and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.” So we’re talking about temptation here. A very particular trial. It goes on to say that He will give you an escape. So even if temptation does become more than you can bear, it is God who helps you bear it. (So there goes the ole, “The devil made me do it” defense) Again, we’re talking specifically about temptation here, not all of the other trials and tribulations that we face.
I don’t know about you, but I can think of plenty of things that I couldn’t bear. Terminal illness, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job. Issues like depression or anxiety that we covered in a previous article. None of these could I handle on my own without the help of my God. Last Sunday a man opened fire in a church outside of Nashville Tennessee, similar to what we saw in the church in Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago. We’re talking about people being murdered in a church service. Surviving the moment is one thing. Living with that for the rest of your life? That is another thing all together. Yet we hear words like “forgiveness” and “love” afterward. We, in our flesh are not capable of that. It can only be the spirit of Christ in those people.
It’s hard to ask for help. It’s a point of pride for many of us to internalize our struggles. We don’t want people to know that we “can’t handle” our own problems. We don’t want to be perceived as weak or inadequate. It doesn’t have to be that way. Jesus still accomplished his mission. He went to the cross and suffered one of the worst deaths ever known to man. Hopefully none of us will ever be crucified, but sometimes life is hard. We still have our cross to bear. We can still accomplish our mission in life, but if Jesus, the Lord and Savior of humanity, needed help carrying his cross, then maybe we should be more willing to seek help carrying our own.
Danny Burnham Religion Contributor