"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 2:6-7). This is our calling: to walk in the power of His life by faith. As we do, we will be established in our love relationship with God, and at the same time reveal His life in this body of clay, so that others also may be drawn to Jesus. It is not just a one-time "Damascus road experience," but a continual walk in every circumstance of life. It is a continuation of the life of Jesus, now lived out through a multitude of vessels around the whole world. It is our privilege to participate with God in this high calling.
I believe we can relate this walk to the cross in the following way. The cross of Jesus Christ was full identification with Adam's race, so He could lift us out of death into His life. From the beginning to the end, He lived His earthly life with the cross in view. As He walked the dusty roads of Galilee and looked on the masses and their great needs, He knew that their real need was the life of God, and that could only come through the cross. The reason He came was always in His heart, and He never deviated from that goal. He needed to "go up to Jerusalem," even though He knew the cross awaited Him there. He had come to earth to do the will of God, and He considered nothing else. In a similar way, our cross is full identification with Jesus and His cross, that we may live with Him and be a vessel through which He can continue His earthly ministry to others. We can take up our cross because He took up His cross. If Jesus had not taken up His cross, step by step, we could not live in Him today.
The physical cross of Jesus Christ is never to be repeated. It happened once in human history. Jesus looked forward to His cross because He knew the results that would come from it. We now look back to His cross to receive the provision that was made for us there, and as our example in our daily walk. When we take up our cross, it is our own beginning place in God. It signals death to our old life and a beginning in His life. As Jesus lived His life with the cross in view, He lived it as dead to His own will and alive to the will of His Father. As we take up our cross, we also live as dead to our will and alive to the will of God. He lived "dead to the world" and we are called to do the same. As we live His life, we will also be able to say with Paul, "But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:14).