It is at Easter, a time most sacred and central to our Christianity, that we often watch or hear of the re-enacted story of Jesus crucified. We listen intently as that day in Jerusalem plays out; characters such as the Roman soldiers, Pontius Pilate, Mary Magdalene and Jesus himself very much taking centre stage.
Yet this year, I stopped for a moment to wonder of another character who only briefly makes an appearance in written history - yet changes this story completely.
A man named Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was coming from the fields to the city. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus.”
Simon the Cyrene.
A man who by all accounts was simply entering Jerusalem for other business, but was caught up in the crowds watching as criminals passed by on their way to condemnation.