Q&A: Who carried Jesus' Cross? Mark 15:20-22 and John 19:16-18

Who carried Jesus' Cross? Mark 15:20-22 and John 19:16-18

Question

Who carried Jesus' Cross? Mark 15:20-22 and John 19:16-18

Answer

Mark 15:20-22 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. 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. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull).

John 19:16-18 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified. So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others - one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Condemned prisoners were required to carry their cross (cross beam) to the place of execution. Jesus had been weakened by the scourging and other events that had already taken place that day. Jesus was unable to continue without assistance, so the Roman guards selected a "volunteer" (Simon) to carry Jesus crossbeam the rest of the way.

John does not mention Simon. However, just because he leaves out certain facts does not mean that his account of things is not true. For example, let us say that my statement, "I went to the grocery store today" is a true statement. My wife also told our friends that I went to the grocery store today, and my wife told the truth. However, let us say I also went to the gas station before I went to the store, and although my wife did not include this fact, it is still true that I went to the store today. So, just because something is not explicitly stated does not mean it did not happen.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).