An Easter Parable of Promise and Hope
“The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the angel said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. He is not here, as he said. Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5)
As the butterfly flew overhead, a caterpillar said to another, "You'll never get me up in one of those things."
Yet, for every caterpillar, the time comes when the desire to eat and grow decreases as it forms a chrysalis around itself. The chrysalis hardens, and, one would think for all the world that the caterpillar is about to die.
Then, one morning, new life inside the chrysalis begins to squirm and wiggle, the top cracks open, and a beautifully-formed butterfly emerges. For hours, it will stretch and dry its wings, moving them slowly up and down. And then, before you know it, the butterfly glides effortlessly high above the ground, riding the currents of the wind, alighting on flower after flower, as if to show off its vivid colors to the bright blossoms.
The miracle of the butterfly never loses its fascination. Perhaps, because the butterfly is a living parable, a reminder of the promise of Jesus’ resurrection.
On Easter morning, the disciples saw Jesus' grave clothes lying on the cold slab. The body was gone, much like an empty chrysalis deserted by a butterfly which has left to soar free.
An angel spoke to the unbelieving disciples: "He is risen as He said," Later that day Jesus appeared to more of His followers, and then, over the course of the next few weeks, to as many as five hundred people at one time. Even "Doubting Thomas" didn't doubt for long that Jesus had risen from the dead.
We sorrow when we lose a loved one who has become dear to us. Someone so full of life. Now, they lay still, at rest.
What do we Christians say in the face of death? There are many unanswered questions. But these two things are certain: First, death is an enemy. Second, Jesus' resurrection is God's proof that death is not the end.
The empty tomb testifies that Easter morning is God's victory over death. And ultimately, as Jesus promised, God will raise those who believe in His Son.
Why do Christians gather on Easter morning? We gather to celebrate Jesus' victory over death.
For, since Jesus our Lord and our Savior, His victory is our victory. In celebrating His resurrection we celebrate our ultimate triumph over death.
Join us at Immanuel on Easter Sunday – April 1 at 7:00am or 10:30am - as we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and our promised Resurrected Life! And, if we look closely Easter morning, we might even see a butterfly alight on the blossoms of the early Spring flowers.
Frederick Hill, Interim Pastor