“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
A little grammar lesson. Notice how this verse uses both past tense, present perfect tense, and continuous tense. Romans 5:8, just like all of scripture was, written for us now, those in the past, and for those in the generations to come.
This verse is the greatest news for all—for all time.
Continuous Tense: “God shows.”
Present Perfect Tense: “While we were still sinners.”
Past Tense: “Christ died.”
Christ’s death on the cross was the greatest act of love, and even though it happened over 2000 years ago, the great love offered through His death is still seen today. His salvation, grace, hope, and Word are still living and active. Christ died for all sins of all people who turn their hearts to Him in repentance—yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In other words, Christ died for us, while we were still dead, so that we may live through the continual display of His love through His death.
While we were still in sin...
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— Romans 5:6-7
We might not even die for a righteous person. Christ died for us, the wicked and ungodly, so that we live out His righteousness and goodness forever. God demonstrated the greatest act of love by giving His own Son over to death once for all, in the past. But He demonstrates this same love to us today, through the continual display of his grace and mercy.
Jesus did not die for the perfect and righteous you. He died for the broken, wretched, sinful you. He died for you sharing gossip that could ruin your friend’s reputation, He died for you scrolling through images you never should be looking at, He died for you turning your back on that person in need, and He died for you (fill in the blank.) Jesus died for the worst of you so that you could become the best version of yourself through Him. He loved you so that you could love others. He died for us so we too, could lay down our life sacrificially for one another.
Love each other, because Christ first loved you.
Die to yourself, because Christ died for you.
Live for Christ, because He lives.