I glanced around the ward of mostly middle-aged men who were hoping for a suitable donor heart to be found before their own tired hearts completely failed. (Around Christmas is a good time, they tell me, with lots of young hoons involved in terrible road smashes. Healthy hearts from brain-dead donors are what would save these patients.) All were on Dialysis (as was my father,) while they waited for a saviour kidney.
How would you feel having the heart of a donor beating in your chest? What about a donor’s kidney filtering your blood? Would your life take on a new level of significance? a sense of responsibility? an appreciation of the high price of your health? Perhaps, an indebtedness to the one who had died, so that your life could be renewed? I would thank God daily for His provision of a new organ when mine was unable to support life! Even so, however advanced surgical skills become, organ transplants can still only extend the life of the human body for a limited period of time.
The Bible speaks of another death which brings unlimited life to the recipient’s heart and soul; - the death of our Lord Jesus. While amazing medical advances make heart transplants possible, this procedure only prolongs our life until organ rejection, or age wears us out. The reprieve from a heart or kidney transplant is temporary. But the death of Jesus is effective not only for this life, but for all eternity!
Because Jesus died as the perfect sacrifice for our sins., He died in our place the death we deserve. His death gives us the opportunity to be reunited with God.
How should we respond to this amazing gift of life? Firstly, we can only receive it by faith and repentance. Just as the heart or kidney patient will not benefit from the death of the organ donor unless willing to receive that organ, so we will not benefit from the death of Jesus unless we accept His gift of love and forgiveness.
Having received our new life, how then should we live? With gratitude, humility, and obedience to the One who made it possible for us to live a full life,
The result – suddenly there’s a new meaning and deeper purpose in life. This is the real renewal; the change from ‘waiting for death’. to ‘preparing for our new life.’ What’s more, it takes us through to Eternity.
There’s no better time to receive this gift than at Easter time.
By His death and resurrection our sins are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)