The Back Page – Easter and Butterflies

Unless we knew better, we would suspect no relationship between the above insects. But they are the same because of this:

The monarch caterpillar feasts on milkweed leaves for two weeks, then suspends itself from a stem and transforms into a chrysalis. From the outside the chrysalis appears dead. But on the inside, metamorphosis transforms caterpillar into butterfly. In ten days the adult emerges—utterly different from what had entered.

When you and I die, our existence seems to have ended. We lie still and unresponsive. But we are not gone, merely awaiting our metamorphosis. What emerges from the grave will surpass what entered: “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” “God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

How do we know such ideas are not simply wishful thinking—dreams we nurture because we fear extinction? The resurrection of Jesus. His disciples did not expect that, though he had predicted it repeatedly. Thomas would not believe until he saw Jesus and could feel his wounds. But once the Eleven became settled in their minds through “many convincing proofs,” they went everywhere proclaiming what —and whom—they had seen. Their Master raised from the dead. Easter.

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