Whenever I see a butterfly, I always say hello to it. I think the butterfly is one of the most beautiful things that God has ever created. One day, as I was leaving home from work, I saw a butterfly fly right next to me. For a few minutes, it rested on my car window where my son used to sit in his car seat. I was so happy to see this butterfly because its presence made me immediately think about my little boy. I felt like my son came to tell me hello from up above.
I loved to read a popular children’s book called The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to my son before he went to bed at night. This book talks about the life cycle of a caterpillar from its first stage as an egg to its fourth stage as a butterfly. Children relate to the little caterpillar in this story and rejoice when it turns into a beautiful butterfly. Little children can grow up, unfold their wings, and learn how to fly. It is a message of hope.
Butterflies’ lives symbolize death and rebirth after death. Within its cycle of life, a fuzzy little caterpillar grows until one day when it spins itself a cocoon. It rests inside the cocoon and goes silent. During this time, its body shrinks, its skin is shed, and its organs dissolve, turn to mush, and most of their cells die. Then suddenly, even though the caterpillar’s body dies, the new life of a butterfly is miraculously reborn into a new beautiful body.
When I think of butterflies, I think of Jesus. Jesus arose from the grave like a butterfly emerges out its cocoon. When Jesus’ friends met him after his resurrection they didn’t recognize him right away. Jesus was given a new resurrected body. His resurrected body retained scars from the crucifixion. Our bodily resurrection will follow the pattern of Christ’s resurrection. Like Jesus, we will also be raised with the same spiritual body.
I am amazed that when a cocoon opens and a butterfly crawls out, it is a new creation. What was once a caterpillar is now a beautiful butterfly. This transformation makes me think about what it means to be “born again.” Jesus gives his believers new life, just like the caterpillar has a new life as a butterfly. I am so thankful that God gives us beautiful butterflies to remind us of Jesus and the new life that only He makes possible. But just like some of the butterfly’s transformation is a mystery, so too is this concept of being “reborn.” It can be a little confusing and mysterious. When a person decides to follow Christ, he or she is born again. Each one of us needs to be reborn again to have the divine life of God. God wants us to have His divine life in addition to our human life. Being reborn makes us a child of God.
In the Bible, Nicodemus went to visit Jesus one night to discuss Jesus’ teachings. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish high court, the Sanhedrin. He was a leader in political and religious duties and taught the law to the people of Israel. As they were talking, Jesus said something to him that he did not understand. Jesus said, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”  Nicodemus could not understand how a person could be born again. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Bible says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” God makes us a new person. Like the butterfly, we can become a new creation thanks to Jesus Christ who died on the cross, and was reborn himself, so that we could live.
What is so beautiful about this story is that it sheds light on how God can save and transform us from the person we used to be. There is healing in this transformation. God takes our past lives – all of our hurts and our failings – and transforms us when we give our lives to Christ. Our old selves die and we are born into new creations.
Tags: Transformation, Healing, Butterflies, New Life
 John 3:3