The world is full of people wanting to know, “What is in it for me?” This attitude keeps many from ever checking out God’s word and obeying the Gospel. They see no benefit coming their way, so why bother with religion?
They are failing to realize that the benefit offered is one they truly need. God has given something to mankind that’s far more valuable than silver and gold. He gave his Son to die for all men that they might have eternal life in heaven.
The crucifixion of Christ should stand out in the mind of all men as the most important event in history. Christ himself instituted a memorial of the event that is to be participated in every week (Matthew 26, Acts 20:7).
Isaiah wrote, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief, and we hid as it were our faces from him. He was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely, he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth. He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:3-7).
In the New Testament, the torture and pain he suffered is described. Matthew 27 is one of the records of this terrible deed. “When he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head and a reed in his right hand. And they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they spit upon him and took the reed and smote him on the head.”
This scourging involved the use of a whip made up of several strands of leather with small pieces of bone or metal on the ends. The victim was positioned so his back would be held taut. Each time the whip was used, the flesh would be torn. Some have said that the shoulder blades of the victim would look like white caps in a sea of blood. Many died at this point.
The crown of thorns no doubt caused many cuts and much pain. The thorns were large, hard barbs that did not give when shoved down over his head. The mocking and embarrassment of being led through the streets added to the mental torment. Then to be nailed upon a cross, the torn back resting on the rough lumber of the wooden cross. The cross then was dropped into a hole, and the Lord and savior of mankind was left hanging for all to see. Those who were crucified could only breathe by lifting their bodies against the nails so that they could extend their selves to take a deep breath.
Imagine a sinless, perfect person, suffering such a terrible fate.
“Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22, 23).
All this was done to Christ that man would have the opportunity to learn of him, believe in him and obey him. Men need to seek the truth about religion by reading and studying for themselves about God’s plan for their salvation, to realize there is more involved than just believing in God.
God designed a plan for man to follow. Yes, belief is involved (Mark 16:16), but so is repenting of sin (Luke 13:3), confessing Christ as God’s son (Matthew 10:32) and being baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38).
“What’s in it for me?” Eternal life.