After the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate, they led Jesus outside Jerusalem bearing His own cross to a place known as Calvary or the Place of the Skull. Perhaps because Jesus had been weakened by the scourging, the soldiers compelled a man from Cyrene named Simon to carry the cross the rest of the way. Women followed Jesus on the way of the cross mourning and lamenting Him. The Lord urged these women not to weep for Him, but weep for themselves because days of great peril were to come upon Jerusalem. Two others, criminals who also faced the sentence of death were led along with Jesus.
When they had come to the place of execution, they crucified Jesus and the criminals, one on His right and the other on the left. Those who were there that day mocked Jesus over Whom was written this inscription, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals must have recognized Jesus to be the Messiah, the one Who would establish His eternal kingdom in which God’s people would forever enjoy heavenly blessings. He asked Jesus to remember him when He came into that kingdom. Jesus told him that on that very day he would be with Him in the presence of God. What mercy and grace the Lord bestowed upon this man who was about to enter eternity! He began the day headed for eternal condemnation, and his day and life ended with the hope of everlasting consolation. For this man, in more ways than one, the way of the cross led home!