Does the name Louis Washkansky mean anything to you? He’s not exactly a household name but he was the first recipient of a human heart transplant performed by Christiaan Barnard in 1967. Sadly, he lived only 18 days after surgery because of pneumonia but his operation opened the door to amazing medical advances. Today thousands of heart transplants take place around the world each year making this wonder of modern medicine almost “routine”.
I’ve been thinking about heart transplants in the context of our theme for this school year “New in Christ” based on 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our special subtheme for April is “With a new heart and a new spirit!” Based on Ezekiel 36:26: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you.” Louis Washkansky needed a heart transplant because he was suffering from chronic heart disease. But we need a heart transplant too. Why? Most heart transplants today occur because the heart is so terribly damaged or poorly functioning that it cannot be repaired. Unfortunately, because of our broken sinful nature that’s the case for all of us. We need Jesus as our Savior and thankfully He went to the cross for us and in doing so provided us all with a “heart transplant”. With this new heart we can love, serve, care and provide for the needs of others in all thankfulness and praise to Jesus. I am grateful for my new heart because with Jesus fully present there I am capable of a life of service in His name and to His glory.