For several days, the church that I attend has had three crosses mounted on its front property.
The cross in the middle has been draped with a purple cloth.
This morning as I was arriving for the Easter service, I noticed that the crosses had been taken down. Several yards away from that area stood another cross—-this one draped with blooming flowers. I tried to speak, but could only say a few words, not finishing my sentence because of the deep, heartfelt emotion I was experiencing. The crosses had been removed because Jesus is risen.
At the close of the indoor service, the congregation stepped outside to the flower laden cross. Weeks earlier, we were given the opportunity to purchase a butterfly in memory or in honor of a loved one.
I purchased one in memory of our son who died five years ago in a car accident at age nineteen.
This was a completely new and different experience for me.
On the way outside, we were to pick up our living butterfly, temporarily housed in a three sided triangular box, closed with a gold string.
Although I could not see it, I could hear it anxiously moving around and touching the inner sides of the box.
When everyone had gathered around the cross, the pastor said, "He is risen!" and the gathered crowd responded with "He is risen, indeed!"
With those words, the gold cords were loosed and each butterfly was released into the sky.
The one I was holding hesitated for just a second or two and then joined the others, fluttering up and away into the vast blueness of the Easter morning sky.
Looking inside the boxes, we discovered that the cocoons the butterflies had emerged from were still there. Once they were allowed to drop from the container, all that was left was a stain where the cocoon had once been.
Tears came to my eyes. What a tremendous picture of God’s forever promise of eternal life for those who believe in His Son, Jesus.
Here we are, mere mortals, living lives apart from Him as caterpillars. In coming to the saving knowledge of Jesus and His sacrifice for us, He comes into our hearts and a spiritual cocoon is made. Nothing can keep us from the protection of His love. At the appointed time, when He is ready to complete our transformation, He will bid us to come forth from the cocoon as we are set free in death from this world, only to fly from our opened box into the welcoming arms of Jesus!
The memory of watching the butterflies as they rose higher and higher into the sky will likely be a permanent fixture in my mind for the rest of my life–watching them as they were seeing the atmosphere, not with the eyes of a caterpillar, which can only detect changes in light, but with the new compound eyes of a butterfly which allow them to see in virtually every direction at the same time. Just imagine what it will be like to see Jesus and the splendor of Heaven with new, spritual eyes!
Our loved ones that knew Jesus as their Savior are experiencing this new life right now. Someday, we will join them to live eternally in Heaven.
My heart yearns today for those who have not accepted His gift of life.
Jesus conquered death. We no longer have to die in our sin. He has redeemed us.
It’s not too late—believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” — I Corinthians 15:54