You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. – Romans 5:6-11
During these days, often recognized are the selfless, brave EMTs, nurses, doctors and others who serve on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. They are special people, willing to risk health and life in order to help those sick and near death. God bless them for their heart for people. They are rare, as Paul also says in our text, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.”
But God’s love for us is even more noble, more daring, inexplicable. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “While we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son.” Christ didn’t die for good people. He died for those who slandered him, betrayed him, mocked him, whipped him, crowned him with thorns, beat him, and nailed him to a cross. Jesus’ reaction? “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”
We were not there at the judgment hall or on Golgotha. But spiritually we were there. Our sins put Jesus on the cross. He died for our evil, our rebellion, our sinfulness. Before we are brought to faith, we are all enemies of God, not his friends. We are brought to Him through Baptism where we are washed clean and made new creatures. But from the moment of our conception we are enemies of God (Psalm 51:5). Truly this is a marvel beyond any other. Christ died for his enemies, that somehow they might turn, repent, believe in him, and have eternal life.
“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” Through Christ’s death, we have nothing to fear of the judgment. Nothing to fear of God’s wrath. God will not, can not, be angry with us who trust in Christ, for God took out all his wrath on Christ, our substitute, on the cross. God cannot, will not, punish you for your sins in this life. He punished all your sins on his own Son, Jesus, on the cross. How can he punish again what has already been punished! No, now we can boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Take time to thank those selfless heroes, those noble people who risk their lives to help those with a deadly disease. That kind of sacrificial love must be inspired by God. It is a gift from him. But even more, thank Jesus, that while we were still his enemies, he died for us. Jesus once said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -John 15:13. Jesus demonstrated an even greater love when he died even for his enemies.