he Lord was very particular about the Cross aspect of the Christian life because it is on it the whole essence of our discipleship, the whole thing which we profess as Christians rest.
When He (Lord) saw that the time was ripe to reveal His mission on earth to His 'disciples, after it had been revealed to Peter by the Holy Ghost that He (Jesus) is the Messiah (Mk. 8:27-29; Matt. 16:13-16), He confided in them the suffering that lied ahead for Him. But when Peter rebuked Him for saying such a thing, He had to warn Peter and the crowd in clear language "Whoever wants to be my follower, let him deny himself (put aside his own pleasures), take up his Cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34; Matt 16:24).
Again, a young rich man who claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth was told one thing he lacked by the Master: "Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the Cross, and follow me" (Mk 10:21).
The writer of Hebrews counselled, "Keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the Cross, despising the shame, and now He sits in the place of honour by the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2).
The Lord right from the first time He sent the twelve disciples out on a 'trial' or 'mock' evangelism (witnessing practice), had warned them that "A student is not greater than his teacher. A servant is not above his master. The student shares his teacher's fate. The servant shares his master's…. " (Matt 10:24-25).
Then at His departure, He emphasized the same message into their ears:
"Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…" (John 15:20).
The dignity of being a Christian, then lies in being a partaker of Christ's suffering. Peter understood this, so he wrote: "Rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's suffering---. If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye; for spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is evil spoken of, but on your part, He is glorified. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. (I Peter 4:13,14,16).