Posted on November 27, 2013
#30: Leave Your Past in the Past
Welcome back to our study of Mark’s gospel, Knowing Jesus! So glad you’re here.
Today we sum up Mark’s fifth chapter. In it, we met three people in seemingly hopeless situations:
• a demon-possessed man (vs 1-20; see post #27: Hope for the Hopeless)
• a woman sick for twelve years (vs 21-34; see #28: Changed By His Touch)
• and a dying—then dead—young girl (vs 35-43; see #29: A Platform for Praise).
Read back through Mark 5.
All three “main characters” had two things in common.
(1) Under the Law they were unclean.
(2) Jesus compassionately, fearlessly touched them. He changed their circumstances and their lives, leaving them eternally grateful.
In the demoniac’s case, not only was he unclean due to a large host of indwelling demons, he also lived among the tombs. Numbers 19:16 said, “Anyone who touches a human bone or a grave will be unclean for seven days.” His daily contact with graves made him continually unclean.
In an instant, Jesus ridded him of the demons that tortured him, restored his sanity, and enabled him to go back to his family with a powerful story of redemption. “Go. . . tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you,” Jesus commissioned him.
The woman with an issue of blood had spent twelve years in an unclean state. According to Leviticus 15:25ff, not only was she unclean, but so was anyone or anything that came in contact with her.
When her fingertips brushed the hem of Jesus’ robe, her suffering was ended, her exile from society over. Her old life was gone, and a new one had been given.
As for Jairus’ little girl, anyone who touched her dead body would be unclean. A priest or religious teacher was never to touch a corpse, except for a member of his immediate family. In fact, a high priest wasn’t even allowed to enter a building where there was a dead body (Leviticus 21:11) because, for the sake of his ministry, he couldn’t allow himself to become unclean.
At Jesus’ touch, death gave way to life, her lungs filled with air, and her family and friends turned from mourning to dancing. The future that had seemed lost to her was bright with hope.
The Old Is Gone, The New Has Come
Many of us have been in seemingly hopeless situations, some by our own poor choices and some by trouble that came upon us. We may find it hard to let go of the past, still feeling fearful, shadowed–”unclean”–unworthy of God’s gift of freedom, healing, or new life.
Jesus is not put off by your past, whatever it held. There’s no stigma, shame, or trouble that He hasn’t seen before. Anything satan could pin on you, Jesus took to the cross. He cancelled it (Colossians 2:13-15) and broke its hold on you forever. The freedom He’s bought you is really yours.
Listen to these amazing words: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Do you understand? He’s replaced your old story with a new one! The only reason to recall your past now is to “Go. . . tell how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” Don’t be afraid. Accept the new, and leave your past in the past.
© Diane McLoud 2013