There has been much discussion in recent years regarding the subject of discipleship. Some of it has been helpful but much of it attempts to frame Jesus as a Jewish rabbi who has no Messianic ambitions and whose death was not an essential piece of the life he modeled for his followers. This quote from Wright is timely:

When we speak of “following Christ,” it is the crucified Messiah we are talking about. His death was not simply the messy but that enables our sins to be forgiven but that can then be forgotten. The cross is the surest, truest, and deepest window on the very heart and character of the living and loving God; the more we learn about the cross in all its historical and theological dimensions, the more we discover about the One in whose image we are made and hence about our own vocation to be the cross-bearing people, the people ion whose lives and services the living God is made known.

N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is. 94-95.