I heard recently that it is believed that when Jesus was carrying the cross on the road of Calvary up the hill to Golgotha was the most excruciatingly painful part of the Passion process. I thought this was interesting and wondered why. As a result, I did some research, searched my heart through prayerful discernment and received an answer that made sense to me. I don’t know if you will feel the same way, I am merely writing about how this question was answered for me.
The story of Saint Christopher tells of a very large man who wanted to serve the most powerful king in the world. He searched and found a king he thought might be that king. But when the king ran into trouble, he showed fear and made the sign of the cross in response to his fear of the devil. Christopher realized this king was not all powerful and he went in search of the one who was. In the process he came upon a band of marauders whose leader indicated he was the devil and it was he who was all powerful. So Christopher followed and served him. But he did so only for a short time. Before long, this leader showed fear and made the sign of the cross for protection from this unknown power. Christopher realized this man was not the most powerful either and left him. Soon Christopher came across a hermit, who advised him in the ways of Jesus the Christ. He taught Christopher about Jesus’ power and authority over all the earth. Christopher decided then and there he wanted to follow Jesus. However, Christopher was not sure how he could serve such a God / King. The teacher advised Christopher to consider carrying weaker women and children across a treacherous river that many had tried to cross and had been unsuccessful. This was how he could serve the LORD because he was big and strong enough to help those who needed to cross the river do it safely. One day, Christopher came across a young child who needed such help. Christopher placed the child on his shoulder and began the crossing. As Christopher went on, the child became heavier and heavier. Given the fact that the child was so little, Christopher did not understand why the child felt so heavy. Once they had made it across the river, the child asked Christopher if he knew why this crossing had been so hard on him. Christopher didn’t know. He acknowledged that the young boy was small and should have been easy for him to carry across. The child then told Christopher the reason he was so heavy to carry is because he was Jesus and Christopher had just carried the weight of the world across the river.
After hearing this story, I knew God was telling me that when Jesus was carrying the cross, he was carrying the entire weight of the world’s sins. So not only had Christ already been beaten to a pulp, he had to carry the weight of the world’s sins up a hill before he was going to be nailed to a cross. On the way, the cross kept falling on his mighty shoulders, causing the skin to rub itself raw as He walked along.
I thought it was interesting that Jesus chose Christopher to be the one to carry the weight of people across a river given the fact that the name “Christ” was given to this man.