Surgical procedures have been a part of human and medical history for quite some time. The purpose of performing surgery is to either remove an infected or non-working body part or to replace it with a fully functioning part that enhances one’s life while increasing longevity. Such procedures include the amputation of limbs, removing cancerous cells and tumors, and even knee replacement. There is also such a surgery called a ‘heart transplant.’
The very first heart transplant took place on December 3rd, 1963, in Cape Town South Africa. A man by the name of Lewis Washkansky who was 53 years old received a new heart from a 25-year-old woman by the name of Denise Darvall. At the time, it was a revolutionary surgery which paved the way for future heart transplants worldwide. Such a medical advancement has led to those with chronic heart ailments suddenly finding a 2nd chance at life even if it means living an extra 5-7 years.
The concept of a heart transplant is to exchange a heart that is in poor condition for a heart that is considerably healthier. Spiritually speaking, all of us have an opportunity to experience a change within our heart because of God through Jesus Christ. In the book of Ezekiel Chapter 11, Ezekiel who was one of the many prophets that God used is seen recounting a vision that God had given to him. This vision encompassed Ezekiel seeing the leaders of Israel being judged for their allowance of sin.
In verses 1-12 of this chapter, Ezekiel speaks to Jaazaniah and Pelatiah who are the leaders of Israel. God gives Ezekiel the command to tell them what the Word of God would be towards the leadership and the nation of Israel for their sinfulness and disobedience unto God. In verses 5-12, Ezekiel prophesies the punishment that would occur to the leaders and those who would remain in disobedience.
In verse 13, Pelatiah is then struck dead which leaves Ezekiel wondering what would befall the rest who were in Israel. Here is what God says to Ezekiel in verses 14-16:
(NLV) “Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, your brothers, your family, those who were driven out of the land, and all the people of Israel are those of whom the people of Jerusalem have said, ‘They have gone far away from the Lord. This land has been given to us for our own.’ So tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “I sent them far away among the nations. I divided them among the countries. But still I was a holy place for them a little while in the countries where they had gone.”’
(NLV) “So tell them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “I will gather you from the nations. I will gather you together out of the countries where you have been divided. And I will give you the land of Israel.””
At that particular time, there was a group of people who were taken into captivity into the land of Babylon. They had left the land of Jerusalem, however, those who were still in Jerusalem were obstinate and believed that the land belonged to them instead. However, God promised to restore those who were exiled, into their rightful place in addition to the fact that God had been their their place of sanctity. Here is what God had also promised in verses 18-21:
(NLV) “When they return to it, they will take away all its hated and sinful things. I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will walk in My Laws and keep them, and obey them. They will be My people, and I will be their God.”
(NLV) “But as for those whose hearts go after their hated and sinful things, I will bring their actions upon their own heads,” says the Lord God.”
There are a couple of key points that can be extracted from verses 18-21:
God can transform the heart of every human being – All of us are born into sin when we enter into this world. This means that our heart is automatically filled with sinfulness and darkness because of the sin of Adam & Eve. However, the remedy for a transformation of the heart is through Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross and He rose again from the dead so that we would be redeemed. However, if you and I have not accepted this gift of life then our heart is still unchanged.
- The person who remains in their sin will suffer the consequences – In verse 21 of Ezekiel chapter 11, God declares to Ezekiel that those whose hearts are seeking after sinful things will eventually meet their demise based on what they have chosen to do. The fact is that a person whose heart is steeped within sinfulness is a person who will ultimately come to destruction both physically and spiritually. Since wickedness is within our heart from the very beginning, then it is the same wickedness that will lead us down a path that is destructive. The evidence can be seen throughout our world. Crime, political corruption, and various types of self-abuse and even abuse towards others are symptoms of the wickedness that reside within the heart of those without Christ.
The remedy to such darkness is to be enlightened through Jesus Christ. God wants each of us to experience His fullness and to have our eyes illuminated to who He is and to the world around us. However, all of us must come to a point of surrender which means that we must confess our sins unto Jesus Christ. Without a remission of sin and an acceptance of Jesus Christ, then darkness will continue.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, (ESV) “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Sin is what resides within our heart because of our sinful nature, but we need God through Jesus Christ to renew our heart and to make it pure. Just as a person who has a heart transplant does so to remove a bad or failing heart in exchange for a new one, all of us are in need of a spiritual conversion. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that our heart can be changed, but we must surrender our lives unto Christ.
Are you in need of a change of heart? Do you suffer from a heart that is cold and callous and in need of the breath of life? Only Jesus Christ can provide the answer to your cold heart. The world offers many ‘solutions’, but the fact is that none of what is offered works. Jesus Christ is the only solution to a world that writhes in pain at the destruction caused by humanity’s sinfulness. Accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ and experience the newness of life.