If anyone wants to learn what it means to go the way Jesus went, he must do three things. First he must give up all right to himself; that is, cease bothering about self-preservation, self-aggrandizement, and self-protection against ridicule, and abandon self-assertion as a way of life. This is how the world is crucified to me (Gal. 6:14). Second, he must take up his cross: that is, settle for a life into which the worlds favor and esteem do not enter. Only criminals going to executionpeople from whom the worlds favor has been totally withdrawncarried crosses in those day. This is how I am crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14). Third, the would-be disciple must follow Jesus by accepting as leader and guide one who was even then on his way to execution and who expected to involve his disciples in sufferings like his own. This, says Jesus, is the only path that leads to life.
Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). This brings together both aspects of the Christians identification with Christ; acceptance of Christs cross as both the end of the old life and the pattern of the new one.