Sexton's Ireland team-mate Brian O'Driscoll saw such an opportunity slip through his fingertips in the same city back in 2001 and the current crop of Lions will be doing everything in their power to ensure they do not find themselves in a similar boat come 10pm this evening.
"As a player you want to be remembered when you hang up the boots and be talked about in years to come. This is our chance. If we win a Test series we'll forever be remembered for it. That brings with it responsibility and a lot of nerves. But when we get out there it'll be like any other game, albeit with bigger rewards if we do the business," said Sexton.
"There's not many who have done it. It's a chance to put yourself into the history books in many ways. A lot of people have done it at club level, have done it at Grand Slam level, but none of us here have done it with the British & Irish Lions. It'll be a pretty special dressing room if we can do the business.
"We're looking at it as a one-off game, a cup final I suppose. Brian put it into perspective. He was here 12 years ago as a 22-year-old and the opportunity slipped by. He thought he'd get plenty more opportunities and 12 years later this is his next chance. It's not something that comes along too often and is something all the lads want to grasp while they can. He emphasised that, Gats (Warren Gatland) the same. We want to do it for guys like Brian and Paul (O'Connell). Paul is obviously injured but if we win he can say he was part of the Test winning squad at least."
Joining Lions greats like Willie John McBride, Gareth Edwards, Finlay Calder and Martin Johnson as series winning stars is a huge incentive but Sexton and the rest of the class of 2013 know that what's gone before will have no impact on what happens later today.
Even victory in Brisbane last weekend doesn't mean the Lions can take it a little easier in Melbourne, with Sexton insisting that the squad have to improve if they are to back up their narrow first Test triumph.
Had Kurtley Beale knocked over one of his two late failed penalty attempts at the Suncorp Stadium the Lions would have been 1-0 down heading to Victoria and that fact hasn't been lost on the tourists in the build up to the second instalment.
"Talking about making history is not going to win you the game. It's about executing the moves, the game plan, being good in defence and stopping their moves," added Sexton.
"They're going to throw everything at us. We knew they'd do that last week and will do so this week, too. That's what Test match rugby is. You'd expect nothing less, especially with the Australians one down.
"The momentum is within games. Last week we went eight points up and then gave them a penalty from the kick-off and that allowed them to get back into the game. Had we cleared our lines and maybe got the next score…that's where momentum comes into it, it's not that important in terms of game-to-game.
"I don't think we really got to implement our game plan last weekend. We didn't show too much. We drove a lot of line-outs, which just happened on the night, it wasn't exactly a plan. We'll look to attack them this week. We didn't really get the chance to last week but we'll have a go this time."
Sexton will partner up with Ben Youngs rather than Mike Phillips today after the Englishman was picked to start at scrum-half having been on the bench in Brisbane.
It will be the first time that the pair have begun a fixture together but Sexton is confident they will be on the same page as they look to guide the Lions to glory.
"It's the same with every relationship on tour: you don't always get the luxury of playing a few games together. We're pretty much on the same wavelength now and I'm looking forward to playing with him.
"We had a little bit of game time together at the end of the Reds' game and last week. We've had all week training together as well because obviously Mike was off at the start of the week with a sore knee.
"Ben and Mike are different but they've a lot of similarities. They're a different size but both are pretty abrasive and they both want to play a quick game. It's not going to take that much getting used to. I've had a good few days with Ben and hopefully we'll click. He brings a lot to the game in terms of his running ability and he's a good box kicker and passer. I'm looking forward to it."