Though important, the Bible accounts of his crucifixion don’t include specific details like the distance from which Jesus carried the heavy Cross. This is one of the details that many people wonder about, but this post shares some answers.
So, how far did Jesus carry the Cross?
The distance covered by Jesus carrying the Cross (albeit with help from Simon of Cyrene) is estimated to be about 1/3 a mile or 600 meters. But carrying the Cross was some humiliation, and it’s estimated that they used a longer 1.5-mile (2.5km) road from the place of his sentencing in Praetorium to either Golgotha or Calvary, where he was crucified.
However, note that these are estimates because most details of His crucifixion differ depending on who is asked. But keep reading to learn more about Jesus’ torturous journey to his crucifixion.
Do the Gospels tell us the distance Christ carried the Cross?
No, the Gospels do not give the details of the distance Jesus carried the Cross on his shoulders. But there are many speculations made by Christians and scholars, and the research by these individuals shed some light on the distance that Jesus carried the Cross for.
Some ways used to determine the distance that Jesus carried the Cross include The Way of the Cross, the Stations of the Cross, the Via Dolorosa, and Via Crucis.
For example, the Stations of the Cross is used by faithful Christians going on spiritual pilgrimages to the main scenes where Christ’s sufferings are recorded in the Bible. This is, therefore, one of the most popular devotions honored by the Catholic Church, as taught by the saints.
The saintly teachings encourage such devotions as ways of earning graces from God.
The second source of information is the Way of the Cross, perhaps the most important account since it features some miniature pilgrimage for several of the holy places throughout Jerusalem, which could be why the Holy Land is regarded as the origin of the Way of the Cross.
Via Dolorosa is also important because it sheds light on the past events from the time of Constantine. During these times, it is believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary would visit the scenes of the Passion of Christ and Saint Jerome speaking to different pilgrims.
Via Crucis and Via Sacra also give different accounts of the roads that Christ might have used, giving an estimate of the total distance He carried the Cross.
Did Jesus Christ carry the Cross all the way?
No, Jesus didn’t carry the Cross alone all the way. He was helped carry the Cross by Simon of Cyrene.
According to the details that gave rise to the indulgences like the Way of the Cross, Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa aren’t time specific, and the exact dates when the indulgences were granted remain unknown, it is believed that they were created in 1342 by the Franciscans who were entrusted with guarding the holy places.
As a result, some of the places that were (and have since been) recognized include the places where Christ met up with His mother, the Blessed Mother, where Jesus spoke with some women in Jerusalem, where he was crucified, and where he encountered Simon of Cyrene, among others.
These places are essential, especially where He met Simon of Cyrene because Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus carry the Cross.
It is worth noting that of all the 4 Gospels, only the Gospel, according to John, specifies that Jesus didn’t carry the Cross all the way without help. This Cross specifies that Simon of Cyrene helped Christ carry the Cross.
The Gospel of John also outlines that Simon of Cyrene only carried the Cross because the Roman soldiers picked him from the crowd and asked him to help Jesus carry the Cross.
John 19:16-17 says, “Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha.”
How far did Simon of Cyrene carry Jesus’ Cross?
Simon of Cyrene – Cyrene is one of the cities made into a trade outpost by the Greeks in the 7th century BC; located in the Cyrenaica region, one of the coastal towns of the Mediterranean Sea -carried the Cross for Jesus on the road to Golgotha upon receiving instructions from the Roman soldiers.
It is implied in Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26, and Matthew 27:32 that Simon was compelled to carry the Cross behind Jesus. However, the Scriptures don’t specify the distance he carried the Cross for; neither do the gospels specify the locations from which Simon carried the Cross.
What’s the Significance of Simon Carrying Jesus’s Cross?
While the Roman soldiers were determined to mock Jesus and seemed to have set out to punish Jesus, pushing him to his limits, they still forced Simon of Cyrene to carry the Cross for Jesus.
It is believed that this happened for a reason. From the scripture, it is evident that Simon of Cyrene was essential in the journey to His crucifixion, which is why he was mentioned.
This is one of the ways that God showed his intentions. As a purposeful God, He may be the one who made the soldiers pick Simon of Cyrene from the crowd before asking him to carry the Cross for Jesus on the road to Golgotha.
It is essential to bear in mind the fact that Jesus’ other name is Emmanuel, which means God with Us, and that God is the Creator who carries all of humanity’s burdens as implied in Psalm 55:22 and Colossians 1:16.
With these suggestions in mind, it means that Simon of Cyrene carrying the Cross for Jesus represented an essential lesson in humility.
While Jesus’ execution was a public humiliation, Simon agreed to partake in the suffering instead of spectating by carrying the weight and pain of Christ as they made their way to Golgotha.
As implied in the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and Matthew, Simon of Cyrene was compelled to carry the Cross on behalf of Jesus, meaning that he was pressed into this service. It may represent that most Christians aren’t willing to carry their crosses unless compelled.
While Jesus was extremely weak and even disfigured by the time the Roman soldiers asked Simon to carry the Cross, Christ’s suffering was vital as it pointed to the fulfillment of an earlier prophecy.
This is suggested in Phil 2:8, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” and Isaiah 53:10, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.”
Then in Matthew 26:37-39, it is implied that Jesus Cried out to God, asking for help, pleading, and wondering if God would let the ‘cup’ (tribulations) pass him if it was His will.
In this case, it is possible that Simon’s helping hand represented God’s love for Jesus, His Son. In many ways, this was His way of temporarily easing Jesus’ pain. It is also a reminder of God’s providence.
And by Simon carrying the Cross behind Jesus, Luke 14:27, reminds Christians to follow Jesus, even though it might be challenging since it is a path full of enticements, distractions, and challenges: “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
How many times did Christ fall carrying the Cross?
According to the details of the Way of the Cross of the Stations of the Cross, Jesus fell three times while carrying the Cross.
The first time He fell was when He was made to carry (bear) the Cross. Along the way, after the weight of the Cross was too much for him to handle, Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the Cross for Jesus.
Afterward, Veronica wiped His face, and he fell again. The third time Jesus fell was when the many Jerusalem women wept for Jesus, and he fell.
It’s worth noting that his garments were stripped off after he fell the third time, and he was nailed to the Cross.
How much did the Cross that Jesus carried weigh?
According to the renowned French architect Charles Rohault de Fleury’s catalog of 1870, the Cross that Jesus carried before he was crucified weighed 165 pounds.
The Cross was also tall and stood between 3 and 4 meters tall. It was also 2 meters wide and made of either olive or pine wood. But it might have weighed more than 165 lbs. However, the Bible doesn’t have these details.
For how many hours did Jesus Christ walk with the Cross?
According to the scripture in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus walked with the Cross for about 3 hours – it is implied that he started carrying the Cross on the third hour and died on the Cross at the ninth hour.
This implies that Jesus walked on the Cross for about three hours and was on the Cross for about the same time before passing away at 3 PM or the ninth hour.
What is the significance of Jesus carrying the Cross?
Jesus’ Cross is one of the most essential elements of Christianity, and Jesus carrying the Cross through the pain and mocking is quite significant.
First, the Cross symbolizes humankind’s atonement. The Cross symbolizes atonement in two ways – through the death of Jesus Christ, whose death was for the sake of the sins of humankind and the world.
In many ways, therefore, the Cross symbolizes Jesus’s selfless sacrifices for humanity.
Secondly, it is an important historical symbol representing a momentous event more than 2000 years ago. This event was a sign of a clean slate for all of God’s children, an event that showed that Christ triumphed over all evil.
This is implied in Colossians 2:13-15 which reads, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Lastly, Jesus carrying the Cross is a portrayal of the high price that was paid for the redemption of all humankind. And so, thinking about it reminds and brings believers close to God.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” – Galatians 6:14.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.