Question:

Question

Answer:

For school I'm learning about Easter. Where did Jesus carry his own cross?


It is good to hear that your school is encouraging you to be interested in religious matters. I hope you learn a lot from your assignment.

Many myths have grown up around Jesus. The gospels present a beautiful and strong story about Jesus life here on earth, but as with many things, people can't keep their fingers out of a good story. They feel they must embellish it to make it sound better. They don't understand that you can't improve on a work of God.

The Easter holiday is an example of one of those embellishments. Jesus told us to remember his death by partaking of a special meal. "For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes" (I Corinthians 11:23-26). This is how Jesus wanted his death to be remembered by his followers. In Acts 20:7, we learn that Christians took this memorial supper every Sunday. "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread ..." To "break bread" is another way to say "partake of a meal." The meal in this case is the special memorial meal that Jesus instituted. In other words, Christians remember Jesus' death 52 times a year, not just once a year.

In regards to the actual events that occurred as Jesus was sent out to be crucified, these too have been embellished over the years. Many legends and traditions have sprung up which are not based on the facts given in the Bible. The facts in regards to Jesus carrying his cross are in the following verses:

"And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink" (Matthew 27:31-34).

"And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull" (Mark 15:20-22).

"Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus. And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, 'Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed! Then they will begin 'to say to the mountains, "Fall on us!" and to the hills, "Cover us!"' For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?" There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left" (Luke 23:26-33).

"Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center" (John 19:16-18).

Each writer focuses on a different part of the events, those events that help tell the story to the people to whom they are writing. Each gives different details. They are not contradicting each other, they are just pointing out different facts. Thus John tells us that Jesus started out bearing his cross while Matthew, Mark, and Luke mention that somewhere along the way they forced a man named Simon to carry the cross for him. Most people guess that they did this because Jesus had become too weak from his earlier tortures to walk that far with a heavy cross. Just remember that it is a guess -- a likely and logical guess, but still a guess. The place they lead Jesus too went by a variety of names. It's Hebrew name was Golgotha which means "Place of the Skull" when it is translated. The Greeks called the place Calvary, which is the Greek word for skull. The Bible doesn't record the exact path that Jesus took through Jerusalem to reach Golgotha, but this hasn't stopped people from speculating and building up stories about that journey.

The City of Jerusalem

I hope this helps.


See also:

Questions and Answers regarding the Crucifixion