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The Master's Grip: In His Grip

Monologue: Simon of Cyrene
Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I created this monologue for a class assignment in Bibliology/Theology Proper. If you would like to make use of this monologue please contact me via comments. Thanks!

In His GRIP,

James

Sorry, I don't use this blog really anymore, this has been several years. Anyway, in the future if someone would like to use this, you have my permission! All I would ask is that you leave a comment here or email me (james (at) jdasher dot com) about how you used it, I would love to hear the story and that you acknowledge where it came from.



To this day I can still hear the cries echoing through my head. The crowd shouting and sneering, voices dripping with anger and hatred, “Crucify him! Where’s your power now Jesus? Why don’t you save yourself?” My back still carries the scars of the Roman centurion’s whip as he tried to make us move faster up that horrible hill. But above all what I remember most, as if it were yesterday, are his eyes; I have never seen such sadness, such forgiveness, such remorse in any one man. As the crowd screamed and cursed at him, as his body dripped with his own blood, his eyes shouted back with ever growing intensity, “I love you, I forgive you; I do this for you!” I should know too…I was there…I was there, right beside him, staring into those eyes only inches away as together we struggled up the path to Golgotha, up the path towards his certain death.
When my son, Alexander, suggested that perhaps my story would help the church better understand what Jesus had meant when he told them that, “anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me,” I agreed to tell it. I am Simon, but I hope you will soon forget my name as I tell you about one who is so much greater; as I tell you my story, about the small part I got to play in God’s plan of forgiveness and redemption for his children.
For many years I had dreamed and saved for the opportunity to celebrate the time of Passover in the holy city of Jerusalem. It was a long and dusty trip from my home in Cyrene, but that year I had finally saved up enough to make the journey. I had arrived on the 13th of Nisan the day before the Passover lamb was to be slaughtered in order to find suitable lodging and a place to celebrate the meal.
Late that evening while finally having a chance to rest from the long journey, my host came rushing home with the news that the man Jesus had just been arrested and delivered to the High Priest’s palace for questioning. “Who is Jesus,” I asked not having heard of the man before? My host explained to me that there had been claims that Jesus was the Messiah; he had heard stories from people claiming they had seen him perform miracles of all sorts from curing the sick to even raising the dead. Knowing better than to get involved with local problems I stayed inside that evening resting up and enjoying my host’s hospitality.
The next afternoon I had almost completely forgotten about the events of the previous evening. I had decided to walk around for a few hours and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city before having to return to the house that evening for the start of the ceremonies. For some reason however, instead of the humming busyness that had been the city’s atmosphere the day before that afternoon there seemed to be an almost oppressive silence and stillness to the air.
I had just made the decision to return to my lodging when I heard what sounded like the shouting and jostling of a large crowd quickly approaching where I was. I tried to move out of the way, but the swell and strength of the approaching mob quickly overtook and carried me along. At first not knowing what was going on I watched as I saw three men carrying huge beams of wood come struggling down the road; they were being pushed along by several Roman soldiers carrying whips. I quickly realized that I was watching, what I had only heard of, the horrific Roman tradition of a crucifixion.
As I watched I realized that the shouts of the crowd were directed primarily at only the second of the three men. As this man struggled toward me I noticed what looked like a woven band of thorns shoved down on his head like a cruel joke of a crown. Listening to the crowd I realized that they were calling this man Jesus. “Why don’t you save yourself, Jesus,” one shouted? Another yelled, “Where’s your power gone to now?” I quickly realized that this must be the man my host had been talking about, this Jesus; this supposed “Messiah.” So this is where the proceedings of last night had led I thought.
As I watched Jesus slowly make his way toward me, stumbling under the weight of the wood and from the pain of the many cuts on his body, I couldn’t help but feel pity for this man. Could this kind of punishment really be deserved? When he finally reached where I was standing I had become absorbed in watching him. Even among the many epithets and sneering remarks thrown at him, there seemed to be only a gentle response of love coming out of him. At times he would look into the eyes of members of the crowd as if to say, “for you.”
Several times along the way Jesus had almost fallen under the weight of the beam he carried, and finally he did. Almost directly in front of me his feet slipped out from under him and he fell to the ground. As a Roman soldier hurried up and begin to whip him trying to force him up, we all quickly realized that this man was going nowhere by himself.
Suddenly I felt myself being roughly grabbed…I had been so absorbed with the man in front of me, I had not noticed another Roman soldier approaching. As the soldier grabbed at me he shouted, “You! Help this man carry his cross!” At first I tried to resist, but it was no use. I was told to lift the large beam of wood that Jesus had been carrying to my own shoulders. At the same time Jesus was forced to his feet to stand beside me with the cross lightly resting on him as well. In this way we were forced to continue the long trip up the path toward what I quickly realized was the place that had become known as Golgotha, the place of the skull.
As we struggled up the hill the blood of the man beside me mingled with my own sweat. I looked over at Jesus to see him staring right back at me; what I saw in that glance changed me forever. Through the intense pain he was experiencing I saw something I had never seen in any man before. I saw a look of complete love and forgiveness. It was a look I cannot describe, only to say that it penetrated you like a knife to the heart. That was a gaze I did not want to break or ever forget.
My host had said that this man had claimed to be the Messiah, now somehow for myself I knew. This was no criminal, this was a completely innocent man being killed; not for anything he had done, but for everything we had. I had come to take part in the sacrifice of a lamb for Passover; instead I was taking part in the sacrifice of the ultimate lamb, the perfect lamb.
When we reached Golgotha I watched as Jesus was nailed to the wood we had carried. I watched as he was hoisted up to die. I watched as the Roman soldiers gambled for the few items Jesus would leave in this world. I watched as Jesus breathed out, “It is finished!” As he cried his last breath, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” I watched as he died, as he died for me and for you.
My story ends here, but his story continues. He beckons you daily to make it your story. He calls you to join him in death, to join him in taking up your cross and following him. “Why must I die,” you might ask? I can answer that simply and directly, “so that you may truly live.”
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posted by James Dasher @ 6:51 PM,




8 Comments:

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Dasher!

I am performing a Simon of Cyrene monologue for my church in a few weeks and I would love to make use of some of the things you say in this well-written piece! Would that be okay? Contact me via email at brodypav@tampabay.rr.com.

Thanks! And very well done!

 
At 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work! I too would like to be able to reproduce this for our Good Friday service. Please e-mail me at jlingels@verizon.net please let me know if we can use this and acknowledge your work!

You should try to officially publish this very nice work.

Blessings,
Jackie

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Way of the Pastor said...

I would like permission to be able to use this monologue for this Easter. Well writtne, nice job. Email me back at
wayofthepastor@comcast.net

Thanks,
Way of the Pastor

 
At 4:51 AM, Anonymous Brother Isaac said...

Absolutely moving...Don't mean to echo the same thing, but I would also love to ask permission to adapt this for Good Friday Service at my Church in Cleveland, OH. This is truly quality.

isaacowo@gmail.com

 
At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Candace said...

Hi Mr Dasher,
This is a wonderfully written piece and would like to ask permission to use or adapt this for our Easter Program in Adelaide. You can email me at candi.ace@hotmail.com.

God Bless
Candace

 
At 5:37 AM, Blogger Robin said...

Hi Mr. Dasher,

I would like to ask permission to use this for a seniors service on Good Friday. Please contact me lenajoy1@gmail.com

blessings and thanks

 
At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I use this in my church service?
Pastor Bill
indybw@aol.com

 
At 3:37 PM, Blogger James Dasher said...

Hey Everyone,

I'm sure most of you have completely forgotten about this. Sorry, I don't use this blog really anymore, this has been several years. Anyway, in the future if someone would like to use this, you have my permission! All I would ask is that you leave a comment here or email me (james (at) jdasher dot com) about how you used it, I would love to hear the story and that you acknowledge where it came from.

Blessings,

James

 

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