As a butterfly soared overhead, one caterpillar said to the other, “You’ll never get me up in one of those things.” Yet for every caterpillar the time comes when the urge to eat and grow subsides and he instinctively begins to form a chrysalis around himself. The chrysalis hardens and you’d think for all the world that the caterpillar is dead. But one spring morning the life inside the chrysalis begins to writhe, the top cracks open, and a beautifully-formed butterfly emerges.
Somehow, even for the cynical, the miracle of the butterfly never loses its fascination for us. Perhaps because the butterfly is a living parable of the promise of resurrection.
On Easter morning the disciples saw Jesus’ grave-clothes lying on the cold slab, much like an empty chrysalis deserted by a butterfly who has left to soar free. “He is risen as He said,” an angel told the incredulous disciples. Later that day he appeared to the disciples, and then, over the course of the next few weeks, to as many as five hundred people at one time.
What do we Christians say in the face of death? There are many mysteries. But two things we know for sure. First, death is an a hard reality. Away with the sentimentality that vainly seeks to disguise death’s insult! But second, and more important, Jesus’ resurrection from the grave is God’s proof to us that death is not the end. The empty tomb and Jesus’ Spirit within us testify that Easter morning is God’s triumph over death. Join your Church this Eastertide as we celebrate life.