What does it really mean to be crucified with Christ? Thankfully, God does not ask us to submit to physical crucifixion in order to prove that we are disciples of Jesus. When Jesus tells us to take up our Cross and follow Him, He is not telling us that we must pay the penalty for our sins. Thank God that Jesus has paid the penalty for us! Taking up the Cross, for us, is adopting a spiritual attitude of self-denial, of surrender, and of yielding all that we have and all that we are to God.
Although that aspect of the Cross occurs in us day by day and moment by moment, what Christ accomplished through His death on the Cross is finished, complete, and settled once and for all. This finished work of the Cross is the basis upon which we can take up the Cross daily and follow after Him.