In denying Christ Peter said, “I do not know the man” (Matthew 26:74). Those who follow Christ must say that to themselves. Self-denial means knowing only Christ; no longer knowing oneself. It means no longer seeing oneself, only Him who is going ahead, no longer seeing the way which is too difficult for us. Self-denial says only, “He is going ahed; hold fast to Him.”…”When we know only Him, then we also no longer know the pain of our own cross. Then we see only Him”…The cross is nether misfortune nor harsh hate. Instead it is that suffering which comes from our allegiance to Jesus Christ alone.”
Deitrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship, 79.