It is the late spring and early summer time of the year in the Okanagan Valley. Every leaf and flower is newly in bloom; and it is a fresh time of year. The birds have all arrived from winter climes, and the butterflies are out. It reminds me of this past Easter when I was sitting in a local church listening to a delightful concert put on by our community choir. I happened to notice that on their cross, they had fastened a colourful butterfly. It seemed like such an appropriate symbol for that season of the Christian year. The metamorphosis that takes place within a chrysalis, whereby a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, is not only a symbol of God's power that brought Jesus back to new life in His resurrection, but is also symbolic of the transformation that occurs in the life of one like me who has put his trust in the saving power of Christ.
Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (NIV)
It was this fulfilled promise of God that helped me understand what Jesus was saying when He was talking to Nicodemus:
John 3:3 – In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (NIV)
Revelation 3:20a – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him. (NKJV)
It was only through the chrysalis of the cross, the tomb, and the gift of the Holy Spirit that I was able to allow God's promise of a new heart to flow within me, once I had answered Jesus' knock on the door. The moment I opened the door, I received Jesus' promise of salvation, redemption, forgiveness, and renewal. This became real to me as the days passed into weeks, and both I and others noticed changes in my behaviour and attitudes. It was an ongoing learning experience, like that of doubting Thomas, interspersed with many epiphanies. Some call it "sanctification". This was a period of getting used to my new relationship with Jesus, my Saviour, who was working within me by the power of the Holy Spirit. It was and still is a time to spread my wings, to leave the chrysalis, and flit about, getting used to my ever-renewing, God-given attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours.
1 Peter 1:23 – For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. (NIV)
God speaks to me and gives me many opportunities to remember my experience at the foot of the cross and the mystery that is His redemptive power. Many times I have been called by the Spirit into a time of reflection — a time to recall God's promises, to thank Him for Jesus, and to count my blessings for newness of life through God's grace, His Word, and my Christian community.
Prayer: Dear Lord, grant us the grace of redemption that we might experience the fullness of Your love. Amen.