And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.—Ezekiel 36:26
A heart transplant cardiologist shared his profound appreciation of Ezekiel 36:26 that not many of us can understand. While in the operating room, the surgeons removed diseased, discolored hearts and replace them with vibrant, pink “new” donor hearts. He explained that the process for selecting candidates who get a “new” physical heart is similar to those who can get a “new heart” from God. In both cases, NEED alone is the decisive factor.
Ezekiel’s mention of the people of Israel someday getting a “new heart” is a foreshadowing of the change that takes place at salvation—a time when individuals experience a life-transforming encounter in their relationship with Jesus Christ. For the Israelites of Ezekiel’s day, and for those of us today, only one factor must be met for us to acquire a “spiritual heart transplant.” We must NEED it. It matters not whether we’re rich or poor, respected or scorned. Citizenship, social status, and ethnicity are inconsequential. If we need a new heart from God, we can have one through faith in Christ’s death and resurrection.
What determines the need for a new heart? As sinners, all of us need a new heart. Have you had a spiritual heart transplant? The Spirit of God will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. He will circumcise an unbelieving heart “so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).
We need more than a fresh start—we NEED a new heart!