‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ (Matthew 3:2)
I enjoyed learning to drive. I did, that is, until the driving instructor asked me to do a three-point turn in the middle of the road. That was a different matter. Nonetheless, it was an important skill to learn. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve set off in my car only to realise that I’m going in completely the wrong direction. No problem! I can simply do a U-turn and head back the right way.
To repent involves doing a U-turn with my life. By nature we all live ‘my way’, the way that pleases me, ignoring God and doing as I want. I’m living my way when I’m in charge of my life. Jesus came to show us that living ‘my way’ means heading in completely the wrong direction. It means heading for judgement and death, and missing out on heaven. To repent means turning around and going in the opposite direction. It means living God’s way, with Jesus in charge of my life and trusting in him as my Lord and Saviour. It means receiving mercy and life, and looking forward to enjoying eternity in heaven.
When we understand who Jesus is and why he came it can quite literally turn our lives around.