Some days seem to take forever to arrive. As a boy, Christmas day and the last day of school seemed as though they would never come. Like a mirage on a hot summer highway, as you move toward them, they only seemed to be further away. But what if that long-awaited day was a matter of life and death? What if you were waiting for a heart or liver transplant in order to live?
Those who need an organ transplant are placed on a waiting list for a donated organ. Transplant organs are matched to patients based on a large list of criteria including: blood type, tissue type, medical urgency, body size, and distance from donor hospital to recipient hospital. The process is never based simply on your position on the list. Unfortunately, there are a lot more people on the waiting list than there are organs available each year.
Depending on how well you are, you may wait for your organ transplant at home or in a hospital. It is impossible to anticipate exactly when one will become available. Some people wait only a few days while for others the wait much longer, possibly many months, if at all. The waiting, the wondering, and the worrying become all consuming. What if it never comes? What if no match can be found for me? As the time passes, desperation increases and the difficulty of holding on to hope grows exponentially. And if an organ is found, the danger of the transplant and high likelihood of rejection weigh heavily.
Then the call comes – a donor match has been found — and all the emotions converge. Hope shines in and the life-giving gift is given by another whose gift cost them everything. While heart and liver transplants have become almost routine today, it is never routine if it is you waiting and praying for a donor match. But what if your fatal diagnosis is more than physical? What if you have a failing soul and spirit? What if your heart of hearts is failing for a lack of righteousness and faithfulness? You seek diligently some other person – a counselor, a teacher, a lover, a friend — who can give you what you need to fill that growing emptiness in your heart, to stop the metastatic corruption of sin and guilt that threatens your life for all eternity.
But no matching donor can be found. Every teacher, every counselor, every lover, every friend, every good man or woman, every role model — they are all on the waiting list as well. Life is ebbing away, time is ticking, a donor must be found. But where can we find a donor match for our sin-sick soul? This was the question posed to the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 5. Jerusalem has been given a terminal diagnosis. The sin-sickness of the people had metastasized into every area of their lives from worship to family life to social injustice. God commands Jeremiah.
Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
look and take note!
Search her squares to see
if you can find a man,
one who does justice
and seeks truth,
that I may pardon her. Jeremiah 5:1
Jeremiah looks everywhere. He looks among the ordinary people. He looks at the leaders, the wealthy, the scholars, and the movers-and-shakers. Surely, he can find such a man among the priest and prophets. But there is no match. As the Psalmist said.
They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one. Psalm 14:3.
No even one! No donor can be found. The situation is desperate. God had promised to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if only ten righteous could be found, but Jerusalem’s judgment depended on just one. Despite Jeremiah’s diligent search no righteous man could be found. This is the desperation of our own spiritual situation. Dying from a depraved soul, we need a righteousness transplant. But can a donor be found? The good news is that a perfect donor match exists.
Jesus Christ is a perfect donor match for your diseased soul. Made like us in every way, fully man yet fully God, His perfect obedience and atoning death on the cross make his perfect righteousness available to those who will receive it. He alone is the way, the truth and the life. But as with someone on the transplant list, it is not enough for the donor to be found. The donated organ must be received by transplant. This happens for us when we place our faith in Jesus and repent of our diseased life. Have you received a transplanted life from Jesus?
Join us this Sunday, July 28 as we consider the good news that a donor match has been found to transplant in us the new heart we need to live. We meet from 5:00 – 6:30 pm in The Commons at St. Andrews Anglican Church at 8300 Kanis Rd in Little Rock. Click here for directions. Come with a friend and join us for fellowship and worship. We look forward to seeing you there.