I have a question for you...Would you have liked to be Simon who helped Jesus carry his cross? Mark's gospel adds that he was the father of Alexander and Rufus, two Christians later known by Mark. I wonder what they got from their father and what they thought of him. Another question I have is this: Did he carry that cross willingly? There is the mention of the women that followed. Jesus told them not to weep for Him but for themselves and their children. His presence made Israel a green tree. I think, though I love Israel, that she is a dry tree. The presence of Jesus is not felt there. Think of what is done against the Jews in our lifetime. Could it not be considered a dry tree? After the Rapture, the Holy spirit will be removed as an influence in this world and the whole world will be a dry tree. Next Jesus said, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." It is true, they didn't know for Paul in I Cor 2:8 said, "If they knew they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Next we have the soldiers casting lots, a means of prediction that is recorded as a prophesy 1000 years before in Psalm 22. Then we have the repentant thief who finally realized who Jesus really was. Do you think it was just because of the sign above the cross? I don't. I believe that somehow it was by the inspiration of God. He believed the kingship of Jesus was somehow out of this world because here Jesus, was a dying man just like he was. What true faith he exhibits from his own cross. Do you and I have that kind of faith? I have seen men die in all kinds of ways. Are we going to be with Jesus when death comes for us?