Have you ever heard of Simon of Cyrene? He’s a man in the Bible that I never gave much attention to Remember the man who was forced to carry the cross for Jesus? That would be the same man.
With Easter approaching, we tend to give more thought to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. However, I tend to miss details, such as the man carrying the cross. After reading Simon and the Easter Miracle: A Traditional Tale for Easter, I looked the story up in Scripture.
Mark 15:20-22: “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.”
While the story book doesn’t match up word for word, various details are included to help the youngsters (ages 5-7) get a picture of the man’s life. While we don’t find anything in Scripture to tie this man to the goal he’s set out to accomplish on this given day, we do get the picture that he’s a normal man minding his own business. While forced to do something he didn’t want any part of, he finds himself later experiencing the peace of Jesus that Jesus speaks of.
Again, while I didn’t find anything in Scripture proving that Jesus and Simon of Cyrene exchanged words of peace, the message is that Jesus does bring peace, even during our trials and when things don’t go as we planned.
About the Book
The gospels tell of Simon of Cyrene–“a man coming in from the country”–who was ordered to carry Jesus’ cross. Over the centuries, his story has been woven into a Polish folktale. In the tradition of The Three Trees this folk tale gives a fresh perspective on the Easter story.
When Simon the farmer brings his wares to market, little does he expect how he will be involved in the events of that very special day, nor how his items–bread, eggs, and wine–will become important symbols of Jesus’ passion and resurrection, remembered throughout the ages.
This picture book retelling of a traditional tale is both thought-provoking and engaging.
Read an excerpt of the book.
Disclosure: I received a copy from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links included.