The tension was palpable as the attending physicians awaited the arrival of the chief surgeon. Never before had this operating room known such horror. The accident cases with their mangled limbs were bad. The failing lungs, the raging cancers--these were the cases they were trained to handle. At those times they, along with the nurses, would unite, making an expert team that would work in smooth harmony to make the wounded whole.
But today, today they were being asked to do the unthinkable. They were being asked to make the whole wounded.
It went against every code and every standard by which they had ever made a decision.
The diseased heart encased in the chest of its terminally ill owner was waiting. Oh yes, this team had performed heart transplants before. With great success. But never a heart transplant like this.
The great double doors swung open to permit the entrance of the chief surgeon and, on the gurney beside him, the one who would receive the heart.
The horror of what was about to happen showed on each face. But no faces were as anguished as those of the chief surgeon and the patient at his side. Nor were any faces as resolute.
With the utmost dignity and singular purpose the chief surgeon directed those in attendance to their respective positions and tasks. Some, in order to comply with this assignment, had to shut down all emotion and work mechanically. Others tried to justify their participation with scientific rationalizations. No one understood.
The incision was made. The whole, healthy, beating, perfect heart was removed and put into the preserving solution.
Then the chief surgeon reached out to receive the diseased heart freshly removed from its owner. All in attendance gasped at the sight of it--gray, shrunken, hardened by the disease it carried.
Silently, with tears in his eyes, the chief surgeon turned back to his waiting patient. No one, not even the coldest doctor, was able to assist him in this task. Still he proceeded. Into the waiting cavity he tenderly placed the diseased heart. As only his skillful hands could do, he worked his artistically scientific magic and then closed the flesh over it.
By now the room had erupted in turmoil. This surgeon, the one most respected in the entire medical community, had just for all practical purposes guaranteed his patient's death. That was bad enough. But some in that room knew it was worse than that. Some knew that the one to whom he had done this unspeakable thing was his very own son.
Now the surgeon turned his attention to the other patient. He was a nobody--at least to those in this room--one of a long line of beaten down sick people who clamored for their attention. Yet the chief surgeon proceeded to implant his son's whole healthy heart into this one as if he were the most important person ever to have lived and as if saving this life was the most important thing the surgeon would ever do.
The funeral for the son wasn't very well attended. How could anyone go there with their emotions toward the chief surgeon the way they were?
The surgeon himself couldn't leave his son's side though. He kept vigil, knowing...knowing...knowing...
The others had gone about their business. Life must go on, they reasoned. Some had nightmares. Some grieved. But the surgeon-father kept vigil at his son's side.
And then, on the third day, the father and son emerged exultant and jubilant. For this surgery had indeed been like no other surgery, because this patient was like no other patient. This patient was named "Life."
Isaiah 53:4-6 (NIV)
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Ezekiel 36:26 (NIV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life."
Romans 6:9 (NKJ)
...Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.
Death no longer has dominion over Him.
Hebrews 2:9 (NLB)
What we do see is Jesus, who "for a little while was made lower than the angels" and now is "crowned with glory and honor" because He suffered death for us. Yes, by Godís grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone in all the world.
I Peter 3:18 (NIV)
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit
Acts 2:24b (NLB)
...for death could not keep Him in its grip.
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