Last month, Mickey came to tell us about Zacchaeus and how Jesus changed him (and can change us too.) Tonight, we looked at how He does that, and discovered that it’s by changing our hearts. (Ezek 11:9, Ezek 36:25-27) This isn’t literal, but we talk about hearts when we mean what we are really like on the inside, our ‘soul’ or ‘real me’, so to speak.
Naturally speaking, people have hearts of stone, in that we don’t really care about God or other people. We are more interested in our own ways and putting ourselves first. We had a stone ‘heart’ to look at:
Sin – wanting our own way – is rather like having a ‘black heart’:
The change that Jesus brings is to change our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, into soft hearts, into hearts that are kind and caring and loving. God says that He will clean us and change us from the inside out. It’s as if the black heart becomes a white one!
When Jesus died on the cross for us, He took all our sin, all our blackness, onto Himself and so, in effect, it transfers from us to Him. Jesus never did anything wrong at all, but on the cross, all the wrong things we have done, all the wrong things anyone has ever done, was put on Him. The Bible says, ‘God made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we would become the righteousness of God.’ (2 Cor 5:21)
When we ask Jesus to come and live in our hearts and make us clean, we become new creations. Jesus told Nicodemus this was like being born again. (John 3) The only way we can become a child of God is to have this heart transplant! This doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but God is able to forgive us and continue to cleanse us and He gives us His Spirit to help us to love Him and obey Him. (1 John 1:9, Ezekiel 36:25-27)