A disciple of Jesus is not someone who mentally embraces the idea of a crucified Christ, nor is it someone who simply reads and accepts the historical record of the crucifixion. A disciple of Jesus is one who enters into the experience of the Cross and is personally acquainted and familiar with it. He has taken up his own Cross and followed in the footsteps of Christ. The objective work of the Cross was accomplished when Christ was crucified; the subjective work of the Cross is accomplished when I daily deny myself, take up my Cross, and follow after Him. His work on the Cross is finished and complete; my work through the Cross is ongoing. The Cross He bore accomplished the work of redemption, while the Cross I bear accomplishes the work of spiritual maturity.
Source: Embrace the Cross by Chip Brogden