Was It Really Worth It?

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, April 13, 2022

I had a little time to spare before sundown one evening last week so I decided to change the oil in my old truck. I had previously purchased the needed supplies so all I had to do was get all the necessities out and go to work. I crawled under the vehicle with grease gun in hand and proceeded to lubricate the moving parts on the front end—a task simple enough for a twelve year old to achieve. But it turned out to be not so easy and not so quick as I wrestled with the dry fittings that refused to take grease. After finally achieving that goal I got down to business with the important part. I squirmed under the oil pan with bodily maneuvers that are not as easy as they once were for me. With socket wrench in hand, I removed the oil plug to release a nice stream of black used oil; most of it went into the receptacle for recycling, some of it went on me, and the rest spilled on the concrete driveway to be dealt with later. When the old oil was all drained and the plug and new filter installed, it was time to put in the fresh oil—but as is my usual habit, it was not without spilling a little on the manifold so a stench of burning lubricant would be obvious when I fired up the engine.

With an hour and a half of my remaining life spent on the project I could look back with pride because I had saved a whole twenty dollars! In the larger scheme of things, at the risk of personal injury or mechanical damage due to limited skill with tools, how far will an extra twenty dollars go? I suppose, as it has been said, a penny saved is a penny earned.

That was certainly not my first time servicing one of my vehicles. It is something I have done for decades, so I was well familiar with the effort and mess. Yet I have to ask myself—especially since I have grown a little older, making the task a bit more physically taxing—is it really worth it? The answer to that probably changes with time.

In the Easter season as we think about what Christ did for us as He gave Himself to pay for our sins, it brings that same question to mind: Was it really worth it to Him? If it depended on our being worthy within ourselves or being able to earn His favor or being capable of repaying Him for His sacrifice for us, the answer would have to be no. But it was worth it to Him in another way—purely because of His grace and love that He extended to us. As the apostle Paul stated so beautifully in Romans, “But God demonstrates His own love to us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died or us” (5:8, New International Version).

What Christ accomplished for humankind by going to the cross on our behalf is priceless. Dr. David Jeremiah states the significance of the cross well: “The power of the cross is the most awesome force in the universe.” Yet we do not benefit from this great act of grace without, by faith, personally accepting Christ’s offer of eternal life purchased with the price of His own blood as He died to pay for our sins. Galatians 2:20 paints a clear picture of the transformation that Christ will bring to every life who will trust in Him: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Going through all the mess to save twenty dollars for a self-done oil change was only worth the time, effort, and discomfort because I chose for it to be. In a far greater way, it was worth it to Christ to give Himself for humanity who could do nothing for Him simply because He chose for it to be because of His unconditional love for us.