Luke tells us that John the Baptist came preaching about repentance. Loads of us associate the word “repentance” with condemnation and harsh judgment. John, some assume, tells his listeners that they don’t measure up. God is on the way. We had better clean up our acts before the axe falls.
But repentance is about growing beyond our past through the power of God’s love for us. Here’s how I put it in A Resurrection Shaped Life:
Repentance is more than a sin-cancelling transaction. When we repent, we admit that the sorrows, the losses, the wounds, the betrayals, and the regrets of our past have made us into someone we don’t want to be anymore. We die to that self and entrust ourselves to Jesus. From those shattered places in our lives, Christ brings new life; to put it another way: repentance is the beginning of our resurrection. Right here on planet Earth.
… Our past will become that beyond which we have grown. Even the most harrowing, humbling, and cringe-worthy moments of our lives provide the soil from which Jesus nurtures us into eternal life. If we hand the life shaped by our past over to Jesus, eternal life will emerge from the depths of our day-to-day lives. (A Resurrection Shaped Life, p. 7)
You can explore more about the book and read chapter one by clicking this link. And here’s a brief video explaining how resurrection begins right here on planet Earth with the spiritual practice of repentance: