Tuesday, March 25, 2014
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 KJV).
The Great Physician must perform this surgery if His beloved patient is to live!
Crucified on Calvary’s cross, slowly dying a most excruciating demise, Jesus interceded on behalf of His beloved nation, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). They knew they were killing their Messiah (it was impossible to accidentally overlook the hundreds of Old Testament Messianic prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His few short years on earth). Israel intentionally ignored those fulfilled prophecies, lest they agree with God. Their “desperately wicked, deceitful heart” (Jeremiah 17:9) caused them to act irrationally—they were spiritually insane, out-of-control (sinners “make haste to shed innocent blood;” Isaiah 59:7).
A year after Calvary, the Holy Spirit indicted Israel through the Prophet Stephen (just before they murdered him, too): “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it” (Acts 7:51-53). Paul, quoting the Prophet Isaiah, “But to Israel he [the LORD] saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying [rebellious] people” (Romans 10:21; Isaiah 65:2). In Old Testament times, in Christ’s earthly ministry, and even in Acts, Israel had a heart problem!
Spiritually, Israel was just as opposed to God’s Word as the Gentiles who worshipped vain idols. Jews and Gentiles were equally stubborn—the old sin nature worked mightily in both races. In order for God to use Israel (and later on, us Gentiles), He would have cut out that heart of sin that all descendants of Adam have. That old sin nature would have to be surgically removed.…