23:26 Simon of Cyrene. It was customary for the condemned to carry the horizontal crossbeam to the site of the crucifixion. Jesus started to carry His cross (John 19:17), but He would have been weakened by the heavy scourging that usually preceded crucifixion (Mark 15:15). The soldiers conscripted a passer-by named Simon from Cyrene in North Africa. His sons apparently were known in the church (Mark 15:21 note).