Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

That He Might Bear It

A Christ Centered Easter

The night had been filled with pain.

Excruciating pain.

The weight of it settled right into His heart.

Darkness fell bringing with it betrayal and torture.  He was surrounded by those who mocked and questioned Him.  Their intent was to destroy Him, whatever the cost.

After spending all night with the enemy He must have wondered if there was anyone on His side.

Morning came with the possibility of reprieve.  "I...have found no fault in this man...nothing worthy of death is done unto him...Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.  But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him...and he said...Why, what evil hath he done?" (Luke 23:13-25)

What evil?

The healings, the miracles, the words of understanding.

Did it mean nothing to them?

Bruised and bleeding He began to walk.

It was then that a tender mercy came.

"And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus."  (Luke 23:26)

He couldn't take away what lie ahead.

But for a small moment he could help bear the burden.

Shoulder it.

In that moment the Savior did not suffer alone.

Sometimes I like to think about Simon when I take the Sacrament.  Part of the covenant includes a promise that we are "willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort."  (Mosiah 18:8-9)

Simon knew what it meant to be willing.

To bear another's burden.

This Easter season I want to remember him and his act of compassion in a moment of great need.

There are those around us who shoulder heavy burdens.  Many nights find them lying awake, the weight of the burden settled right into their hearts.  Sometimes they feel as if the trial will destroy them.

We can't take the trial away.

But could we help shoulder the burden?

What might we learn from Simon's example?

I love a quote from Myrtle Reed, "I'm glad to think I've helped you a little when you came to a hard place, for the most any one of us may do for another is to smooth the road."

Today I bought some Easter cards...one for every member of my family.

On Monday we will talk about the covenant we make every time we take the Sacrament...to bear burdens, to mourn, to comfort.  We will talk about what it means to be a Covenant person.  We will talk about ways we might help shoulder the load.

Then, in a quiet moment, we will take some time to write a note of encouragement to someone we know who is struggling.

In the midst of greatest pain, sometimes comfort comes from simply knowing that you don't walk the road alone.

Living Deliberately:

If you would like to try this Easter tradition this week you will need:

One Easter card for every member of your family. A pen for every member of your family.

Take some time to read the story of Simon of Cyrene in Matthew 27:32, Mark 15: 21, and Luke 23:26.  Talk about the baptismal covenant found in Mosiah 18:8-9.  What does it mean to bear one another's burdens that they may become light?  Spend some time writing words of comfort to someone you know who is struggling.