"Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed for us; therefore let us celebrate the festival." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)
As a butterfly soared overhead, one caterpillar said to the other, "You'll never get me up in one of those things."
Yet for every caterpillar, the time comes when the urge to eat and grow subsides and he instinctively begins to form a chrysalis around himself. The chrysalis hardens and you'd think for all the world that the caterpillar is dead.
Nevertheless, one spring morning the life inside the chrysalis begins to writhe, the top cracks open and a beautifully-formed butterfly emerges. For hours it will stand stretching and drying its wings, moving them slowly up and down, up and down. Then, before you know it, the butterfly glides aloft, effortlessly riding the currents of the air, alighting on flower after gorgeous flower, as if to show off its vivid colours to the bright blossoms.
Somehow, the miracle of the butterfly never loses its fascination for us. Perhaps because the butterfly is a living parable of the promise of resurrection.
On Easter morning, the disciples saw Jesus' graveclothes lying on the cold slab still wrapped round and round the corpse. Only the corpse was gone, much like an empty chrysalis deserted by a butterfly who has left to soar free. "He is risen as He said," an angel told the incredulous disciples. Later that day he appeared to the disciples 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 was really risen from the dead.
What do we Christians say in the face of death? There are many mysteries. However, two things we know for sure. First, death is an enemy. Away with the sentimentality that vainly seeks to disguise death's insult! Secondly, and more importantly, Jesus' resurrection from the grave is God's proof to us that death is not the end. The empty tomb and Jesus' Spirit within us testify that Easter morning is God's triumph over death. Ultimately, Jesus promised, God will raise from the dead each one of us who truly believes in his Son.
Why do Christians gather on Easter morning? To show off their fine clothes or give a ritual tip of the hat to religion? God forbid! Rather we gather to celebrate Jesus' victory over death itself. For, since He is our Lord and our Saviour, His victory is our victory. In celebrating His resurrection, we celebrate our own assurance of ultimate triumph over death.
Join your local church community this Easter and celebrate new life in Christ! In addition, if you look closely during Easter morning, you might even see a butterfly alight on the abundant supply of flowers therein.
There will be no Weekend Worship Service this Sunday as our school will be in recess.
Ft Iain Furby
St Luke's Anglican School