Can you drink the cup I am going to drink, or be baptized with the baptism with which I will be baptized? (Jesus, to the self-promoters and would-be rulers)When Jesus had first called them, he said, "Follow me." But as the last journey to Jerusalem got nearer, he said: "Take up your cross and follow me."
If we follow Jesus, at first we may be like the disciples -- that is, not really understanding it about Jesus' death, and jockeying for position and recognition. Or when we see the cross, we may be like the mourners who watched. But eventually the day comes when we end up less like the mourners and more like the thief who was crucified next to him. That's not a bad thing. That's the only one to whom he said, "Today you will be with me in paradise."