Billy Graham in "The Offense of the Cross" (from Great Sermons on Christ, Wilbur M. Smith, ed.)
When Jesus said, "If you are going to follow me, you have to take up a cross," it was the same as saying, "Come and bring your electric chair with you. Take up the gas chamber and follow me." He did not have a beautiful gold cross in mind - the cross on a church steeple or on the front of your Bible. Jesus had in mind a place of execution.