Butterflies are among the amazing creatures on earth! The physical metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly is indeed a wonder. This amazing transformation begins inside the cocoon or the chrysalis. What happens inside the cocoon? The caterpillar starts to produce liquid called “imaginal cells” which are the seeds of the future butterfly. What is interesting is that the caterpillar cells are so different from the new imaginal cells. The immune system of the caterpillar thinks these cells are enemies and starts to gobble them up. But these new imaginal cells continue to reproduce until the caterpillar immune system bogs down due to the continued reproduction of imaginal cells.
What happens inside the cocoon is actually a war of attrition. A war between the old dispensation and the new dispensation. The caterpillar used to being a caterpillar is threatened by these new invaders. Threatened, it starts to kill the initial wave of invaders. But you cannot put a good man down. Imaginal cells continue to appear. This war of attrition continues until the caterpillar is inundated by these new cells, surrenders and joins the new order!
You cannot put new wine into old wine skins. This is what Jesus said. The new order must come from a totally new creature, not from the old. Just like the caterpillar, we refuse to leave our comfort zones and acknowledge that there is indeed something new beyond the horizon.
Jesus was the greatest imaginal cell! He came to us bringing a new way of living, never before thought of, a new life, a new hope. But just like the caterpillar, people resisted his advances. We are just too comfortable with our life, being a worm. But Jesus tells us that we are not worms, we are butterflies! We have to get out of our caterpillar mentality in order to have a butterfly mentality!
The violence that happens inside the cocoon is similar to the struggle that we experience within ourselves, the fight between the old and the new, between good and evil. In the end, the good will prevail. The first waves of imaginal cells, the prophets were killed because people refuse their message of change. And finally, the greatest of them all, the greatest Imaginal Cell, Jesus Himself, suffered, crucified and died. He entered his “cocoon”, and in three days he arose again, and becomes “The Butterfly”.
The butterfly has been as a symbol of the resurrection since ancient times. Today we seldom see butterflies, for the environment where butterflies thrive has disappeared. Butterflies live in clean environment. If we are to become butterflies, we have to change our caterpillar mentality. We have to create an environment where butterflies can thrive. By the way, the only role of butterflies is to lay eggs for the next generation. It does not even eat; it totally gives itself until it fades away.
Jesus gives himself totally for us to give us life. He is the New Life. He is the New Creation. He is the New Hope.
Happy Easter to all!
(Photo Credit: https://www.tylerarboretum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Butterfly-Header.jpg)