In this season of Lent as we prepare for the remembrance of the Lord’s death and resurrection at Easter, we must hear and heed the call to repentance. It is a life-giving call from a loving Saviour. We must examine ourselves and cleanse our lives. We must repent because the kingdom is here with us.
John the Baptist urged the people to repent rather than face God’s harsh, upcoming judgement. Thankfully we are covered by Grace and Jesus blood paid the price for us, but just as the Jews and particularly the Pharisees and Sadducees thought that as
“children of Abraham”, they were exempt from God’s anger, sometimes we think that Grace and Jesus blood make us exempt from His anger and punishment. What it does is make God our Father and like every good Father, he will discipline us when we go astray, also many sins have their own built in consequences.
John the Baptist called the Jews to repent. The people were lost, aimless and directionless. John the Baptist had to act like an army drill sergeant because of the importance of his message. He did not take any foolishness from anyone. He called all to “Repent and be baptized” for the Messiah was coming. His was a baptism of repentance. Those who accepted it to showed their willingness to turn from their sins, and change their ways, that is the true meaning of repentance. Repentance is not just being sorry, having regret or remorse for the wrong things you have done, and the ways you have hurt yourself or others. The biblical meaning of the word “repent” is to turn or return; to stop sinning and turn back to God.
Repentance means changing our attitude and changing the way we treat others. If we are truly repentant, our words will be reflected in our deeds. True repentance will lead to peace in our hearts and souls. Those who truly repent will be refined by God’s desire to transform their lives into missions that show God’s love to a lost and hurting world. So “Repent, for the kingdom of God is here.”