But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, CSB.
As a younger woman I often took a long time to get ready. I remember as a teenager my brother begging to get into the bathroom we shared as I was fixing my hair and makeup. Now, if my family is going to a special event they are often sitting and waiting for me to finish getting ready. To be fair, as the mother I am often the one doing things like getting the gift together or making sure the dogs are tended to, not to mention helping others pick out event-appropriate clothes. So, to compare my time to get ready to my husband’s, who does not have long hair to fix and makeup to apply, is like comparing the preparation of hamburger helper to that of a gourmet meal. But I digress. The point is, I do feel the need to dress for an occasion. I have learned, however, that the preparation does not need to be extensive for every occasion, and the older I get the more likely I am to show up in a ball cap and t-shirt. I guess over time I have learned to value my time over what someone else might think of me.
You can probably relate to the need to dress for the occasion and may have held a bathroom hostage in your day as well. In this world we often need to prepare ourselves to be accepted. We must be qualified to get a job, meet criteria to obtain approval to buy a home, and have all the appropriate documentation to travel to other countries. We sometimes carry the thought process of needing to be ready into our Christian faith. You may have felt like you are not good enough for God to love you, and that he would not accept you because of what you have done. Perhaps feeling like you are not ready enough has kept you from going to church or making friends with people at church.
Romans 5:8 says that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us. Nothing is required to receive salvation. No red tape, prerequisites, or qualifications needed. He loves us so much he died for us without taking any deposits or having a single promissory note. In fact, he knew we were a rotten bunch, tainted by sin to the point we persecuted and killed the very man who came to save us. He knew exactly how flawed we are, and he gave his life for us anyway. We do not need to clean up or cover up before we come to him. We are already ready, just as we are.