“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6
Romans 5:6 reminds us that the death of Christ was not for good people, but for people who were still sinners. “Weak” and “ungodly” are the two words in this verse that describe our situation. “Weak” refers to our moral frailty and the fact that we are powerless to deliver ourselves. “Ungodly” means “wicked” and shows that we are far from meriting God’s favor and kindness.
This is one of the reasons the gospel is offensive. We like to be seen as strong and virtuous, not like weak rebels who need to be rescued.
“At the right time” means that God knew what he was doing, and that Jesus’ self-sacrifice was planned. The atonement was no afterthought. The death of Jesus was the way God had always intended to deal with sin; he did it when he chose.
Jesus didn’t die for you after you proved to be good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or together enough. While you were still weak and ungodly, he sacrificed his life for yours. And that was the plan from the beginning.
What Jesus did was heroic, noble, strong, and virtuous. But it was also lots more: it was love. This is how God loves you: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Hearing that never gets old.