Ezekiel is one of those Old Testament prophets that thoroughly uncovered the true state of the heart. Through a series of visions given to Ezekiel for the Israelite exiles, one of the main messages of the prophet is that God would give them a new heart. “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”
The human heart is fallen, often dark with evil shadows of pride and selfishness. At best, the heart apart from God contains a miniscule vestige of its ancient Creator’s image; at worst, the heart is desperately wicked and on a highway to hell. The issue, then, is whether the heart only needs to be modified, or whether we need a complete heart transplant. The prophet makes it quite clear which option must be done.
Jesus Christ sacrificed himself on the cross so that we could be transformed into new people. He did not come to tweek a few things in your life and improve it – he came to change and transform your heart. If all we needed was a motivational speaker who would inspire our hearts to live better and reach our personal goals, then we would have not needed an incarnation, a crucifixion, a resurrection, and ascension. Jesus is the risen Lord and Savior who replaces our hard stubborn hearts with a soft new heart of flesh. We need transformation of life, not life modification.
Awesome God, you have graciously and surgically removed my old heart bound for destruction and replaced it with a new heart oriented toward living and loving like the Lord Jesus. May my heart always be inclined to the doing of your will, in the power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.