Theology of Organ Donation

What is the greatest gift anyone could ever give?  The gift of life.  Giving the gift of life to a child is the greatest gift any parents could ever give.  Giving organs to another person might be the second.  “Greater love has no man than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)  This seems to be the most Christian, Christ-like thing we could ever do.

Several weeks ago, I saw a football story about the late Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry who died December 17, 2009.  After his death, his organs were donated.  His gift either saved or improved the lives of more than 5 people.  His tragic ending brought hope to many.

Yesterday, Good Morning America featured a story about Connie Culp, the woman who received the first face transplant in the United States.  The story showed Ms. Culp finally getting the chance to meet the husband and daughters of Anna Kasper, the woman who gave her the most amazing gift.  One daughter said Culp looked like her mother with her perfect nose and beautiful smile.  Her organs had been given to 70 other people as well.

Biblically, our bodies are only earthly vessels, useful for the time we are here on earth but nothing more.  Upon our death, our bodies will remain in the ground and our spirit will be resurrected.  In the end times, our earthly bodies will be resurrected but they will be renewed and made whole.  In the new heavens and new earth, our heavenly bodies will not suffer disease, pain or sin ever again. 

Therefore, if our bodies can be a gift to someone upon our death, I believe all Christians should give this gift away.  No greater, no more gracious, no more sacrificial love could someone have than this, than he willingly lay down and give away his own life for a friend or a complete stranger (John 15:13, my paraphrase).  From heaven, we literally could minister to someone more deeply and have a more life-changing impact on them than we could have had while on earth.

If I could give someone more years to live a longer life so they could be a father or finally come off kidney dialysis or live without constant medications, I want to do it.  When my time on earth comes to an end, I want whatever is useful in my body to be a blessing to another person.  It is not about keeping my legacy or memory alive, it’s about replicating the gift Jesus Christ has given me.  His death has provided for me eternal life.

Signing an organ donor card is the first step.  Telling your spouse or closest friend is next.  Putting it in your will is third. 

Be a donor, save a life.  Be a Christ-follower, give your life away.


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