Dallas Willard once said something on a podcast that cuts against the grain of a popular understanding of what Christianity is all about. He said this:

Jesus didn’t go to the cross so we wouldn’t have to. He went to the cross so we could join him there.

Following Jesus isn’t a matter of escaping punishment or deferred eternal goodness! It’s a matter of dying and being raised to a completely new kind of life. But we don’t experience that resurrection until we join Jesus on the cross and die to the old life.
May we learn to die well, daily and consistently,….long after Easter fades to our memory….