Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
I use a sermon illustration with this scripture.
We have an eight-foot-high cross at church. The cross arm measures around four feet.
I get someone to take up this cross and carry it around the congregation.
I always tell that person not to hit anyone with the cross. Don’t scrape the ceiling tiles. Don’t hit the walls. Don’t trip and hurt yourself.
While this person is walking I’ll ask some questions like, “Are you thinking about lying?” “Are you planning on doing drugs right now?”
“Are you making plans for an affair?”
The person always answers no.
What are they thinking about? They concentrate on carrying the cross at the best of their ability without hitting anything I mentioned.
You see, when you truly take up the cross and follow Jesus, you deny yourself and don’t think about sin. You think about carrying the cross for Christ to the best of your ability.