Matthew 27:31-32. After they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him But it is not said they took the crown of thorns off his head, which served to gratify both their malice and contempt; probably he died wearing it, that the title, which was written over him, might be the better understood. And led him away to crucify him It was a Jewish custom, in the time of Moses, to execute delinquents without the camp; but after Jerusalem was built, they were executed without the city walls. And Dr. Lardner has proved, by many quotations, that it was customary not only for the Jews, but also for the Sicilians, Ephesians, and Romans to execute their malefactors without the gates of their cities. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene According to custom, Jesus walked to the place of execution, and bore his cross at his first setting out, (John 19:17,) not indeed the whole cross, but the transverse beam to which he was to be nailed; the other part being at the place already. But the fatigue of the preceding night, spent without sleep, the sufferings he had undergone in the garden, his having been hurried from place to place, and obliged to stand the whole time of his trials, the want of food and loss of blood, which he had sustained, and not his want of courage on this occasion, concurred to make him so faint, that he was not long able to bear his cross. The soldiers, therefore, laid it on one Simon, a native of Cyrene in Egypt, the father of Alexander and Rufus, two noted men among the first Christians at the time Mark wrote his gospel, (see Mark 15:21,) and forced him to bear it after Jesus. This they did, however, not out of compassion for Jesus; but lest he should die with fatigue, and by that means should elude his punishment. As Jesus went along he was followed by a great crowd, particularly of women, who sighed, shed tears, beat their breasts, and bitterly lamented the severity of his lot; which gave occasion to his predicting, once more, the calamities coming on his country: for, turning unto them, he said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, &c.; see Luke 23:27-30; thus showing, that the thoughts of those calamities afflicted his soul far more than the feelings of his own sufferings.
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