Dr. Christian Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa, with the help of his team, put a heart into a 53-year-old man.
After nine hours of surgery, the heart began beating immediately.
The World was excited about the remarkable feat of medical science by taking the heart of a recently deceased person and transplanting it within the chest of a man with a failing heart.
World news media gave wide coverage to the tremendous accomplishment. Thousands of persons with an incurable heart condition now have a ray of hope for recovery. Many such heart patients have lived because of this medical science breakthrough.
A newspaper carried the thinking of a cartoonist as he mused on heart transplants. The artist pictured the world with two men standing by.
One said to the other, “It needs a heart transplant too, but we don’t have a donor.” It is true that the nations of the world need a new heart, yet there is no other planet from which we can secure one for this old world.
Nonetheless, the artist should know that there is a Donor who has given His heart for the entire universe.
God, the heavenly Father, gave His very heart, His Son, that anyone who has a bad heart can have spiritual surgery, receive a new heart, and thus gain a new lease on life. In fact, the recipient gains eternal life. What a successful operation!
The Bible uses the term HEART to designate the seat of the intellect, feelings, and will. Jeremiah employs the word in reference to the whole moral nature of fallen man.
“The heart is deceitful above all things,” he writes, “and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (17:9).
This prophet also states that an Ethiopian is as likely to change his skin or a leopard his spots as a man is apt to do good who is accustomed to doing evil.
But there is wonderful hope. The Master Surgeon says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezekiel 36:26). The Psalmist prayed, “Create in me a clean heart; and renew a right spirit within me” (51:10).
This spiritual heart surgery is nothing new. Jesus explained it to Nicodemus two thousand years ago, and then he made it available to everyone through His death and resurrection.
Dale Evans was one of the most admired and respected individuals in Hollywood. She and her cowboy star husband, Roy Rogers, were noted for their Christian witness.
Dale told of her earlier conversion, after attending a church service. She said: “I went home that night and faced myself.
“I saw the sins of my past, and was horrified as I looked at them.
“The very next Sunday at church I went into a prayer room and asked Christ to forgive me by His shed blood on the Cross of Calvary.
“I asked Him to wash me clean, to create a new heart within me and use me.”
The father of this writer experienced a heart operation. Though he had been a so-called moral person for years, he discovered that he had a bad heart and that unless he did something about it, the spiritual malady would be fatal.
God, through an evangelist, showed Dad that a person’s goodness does not necessarily mean he has repented of his sins. One has to be born again, the preacher said.
The new-birth idea baffled Father. Being a sincere person, however, he decided that he would undergo the heart operation as the Bible outlined; for he wanted so much to live.
Dad got his new heart, and he so very much enjoyed telling his children about his operation. It happened on a Sunday night at an altar under a tent carpeted with sawdust.
Unconfessed sins hidden in his bad heart were repented of, and the Surgeon took them all away, giving a new heart to this new believer.
Dad got happy that night and reveled in his newfound joy as he walked the two miles to his home— “light as a feather,” he used to say.
Dad’s heart transplant was a grand success! Seemingly this vital spiritual organ never missed a beat until he went to be with his Father.