A Good Word for Today: Repentance
What on earth is “repentance”? It sounds terrible! “Repentance” sounds like “penance”—like something you have to do to pay for your sins. Or like punishment—something you have to do to “repay” what you’ve done. “Repentance” conjures up images of sitting in the corner, beating your head on the wall, or doing time in prison. “Repentance” sounds like a terrible word.
Repentance is actually just the opposite. To “repent” means to “turn.” Instead of trying to pay for our sins, we turn to Jesus for that. Instead of beating ourselves up, we turn to Christ Who was beaten for us. We turn away from our feeble efforts to save ourselves and we turn to Jesus Who really can save us. We turn away from trying to justify ourselves and we turn to Jesus Who will forgive us and justify us completely. We turn away from destructive, self-centered practices that only bring us down, and we turn to Jesus Who will lift us up. We turn away from sin and we turn to Christ.
“Repent and believe the good news of God.” Mark 1:15 ESV