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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Past

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PAST.—‘Let the dead past bury its dead,’ is the unequivocal counsel we derive from the Lord’s reply to a lukewarm disciple (Matthew 8:22). In Christ no past is irretrievable; Divine forgiveness may blot out what men consider it impossible to forgive (Luke 18:27). Habit and custom may be burst asunder in a moment, like the rocky tomb that could not imprison the risen Lord. The motto of the Cliffords (Désormais) may recall a Christian truth of priceless value: ‘Henceforward’ sin no more (John 8:11). God gives a fresh start for Christ’s sake to each one who prays for forgiveness in the spirit of forgiveness (Matthew 6:14). The tyranny of the past led the Galilaeans to ask, ‘Is not this the carpenter?’ (Mark 6:3); but, as signally in the call of Levi, the disciple of Christ must be ready to throw aside the past altogether for His sake (Matthew 9:9).—There is a dead past to be forgotten and forgiven, for God is God of the living (Mark 12:27). And there is a living past to be remembered and commemorated. Thus all generations call her blessed who was the mother of the Lord (Luke 1:48). The loving gift of a forgiven woman who had been a sinner is still told for a memorial of her (Mark 14:9). Yet the Christian hope looks ever forward to the brightness of the coming day, when the shadows shall flee away.

W. B. Frankland.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Past'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/p/past.html. 1906-1918.

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