Have you heard of the word ‘xenotransplantation’? It means ‘the process of grafting or transplanting organs or tissues between members of different species.’ It made the news this week when a 57-year-old man from Baltimore underwent a seven-hour experimental procedure and became the first man in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig.
Apparently, there is an organ shortage crisis in the US with more than 100,000 on the waiting list for a transplant, and 17 people dying daily while they wait. This transplant was considered the last hope of saving this man’s life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are.
Humanity also has a heart crisis, but this one is spiritual:
‘…out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.’ (Matthew 15:19 NIVUK). The only hope is for God to give human beings a new heart, and thankfully that’s what he promises to do:
‘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.’ (Ezekiel 36:26).
In Jesus we become new creations (cf.
2 Corinthians 5:17) with new hearts to love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves
(Mark 12:30-31), guaranteeing our survival not just for a few extra years, but forever. Now that’s a transplant worth having.
In Christian love,