The Surgeon's Knife (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
On his 21st birthday Robert Halbert received a registered parcel containing a tissue-wrapped instrument he quickly recognized as a surgeon’s knife or scalpel. A student in medical school, planning to specialize in surgery, Robert was intrigued by the glistening knife, which, though not new, was handsomely designed.
Enclosed with the instrument was a note from an old friend, a famed surgeon, who had been the family physician as far back as Robert could remember, and had ministered to him and his motherless brother and sister in their childhood ailments. Robert’s decision to study medicine was the result of his ever-growing love and admiration for this man. The note was brief and began:
“Dear Bob: I am mailing you a gift I have saved for you for 21 years. One night before you were born I was called to attend a beautiful young woman who was very ill. An operation was necessary, and this little knife was used to perform it. The young woman died as a result of the operation…”
Bob glanced at the instrument, glittering in the sunshine that filtered through an open window, and a strange revulsion came over him. The thought that the scalpel had caused the death of a human being sickened him and made the knife a hideous object in his sight. But he read on:
“Like most of us, the young woman did not want to die. She had much for which to live. Besides a devoted husband, she had a fine son of 6 and a beautiful little daughter of 3; and now she was about to be a mother again. Her eagerness for the third baby was intense. That baby was you, Bob. The young woman was your mother…”
As Bob grasped the truth of his friend’s message, stark horror seized him. He had never known how his mother died, and now, suddenly, here in his hand lay the very instrument that had caused her death. The note concluded:
“Everything medical science could do was done to save you both. It was your mother’s desire, that no matter what happened to her, you should be saved; and she went into the operation fully aware of the possible consequences. So, you see, Bob, this scalpel gave you life, even though it cost your mother hers. I am sure you will prize it.”
Tears filled Bob’s eyes, and he pressed the knife to his lips.
Then, as Robert Halbert stood there considering the instrument in his hand and all it stood for, he thought of the cross of Calvary, that symbol of tragic death which had often seemed so ugly, so repulsive to him; and suddenly the knowledge of its true significance swept over him.
“Why,” he thought, “now I see it! What my dear mother did for my body, the Lord Jesus Christ did for my soul. She died to give me physical life; He died to give me life everlasting!” A sense of the beauty of the cross flooded Bob’s soul, and his eyes again filled with tears. For the first time in his life, he experienced that great joy and peace of heart that a sinner feels when he trusts the One who died on Calvary as personal Saviour. “The preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Friend, what does the cross of Christ mean to you? Is it just a hideous instrument of death? Does it represent merely the tragic death of a good man unjustly condemned years ago in old Jerusalem? Or is it a precious symbol of eternal life to you?
Won’t you, friend, recognize and admit today that you are in God’s holy sight “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5) and “without strength” (Romans 5:6) and need a Saviour? Jesus Christ, who died on Calvary’s cross and rose again is our only way of salvation: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Trust the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, and enter at once into the peace and joy of eternal life. Jesus said, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).