Christian Articles Archive

A Broken Chrysalis

by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Monarch Butterfly It's truly amazing what a girl will do for love.

My wife, Jean, and I lived next door to each other for ten years before we were married. My sophomore interest in high school biology had sparked a live caterpillar collection. Their home was a shoe box, covered with screen wire. When I went on vacation, Jean fed them faithfully with leaves from her willow tree. She hated it.

Finally the caterpillars stopped their incessant crawling and chewing, attached their tails firmly to a stick and lay still, sheathed with a shiny leather-like case. For weeks they seemed to be dead, unmoving in their tiny gray wrappings. I removed the screen and waited.

One by one, the gray cases began to twist and turn violently, and suddenly split open. A beautiful butterfly emerged. It stood for hours gently moving its wings, pumping fluids into them to extend them fully. Then the butterfly soared gracefully away on the breezes of summer, leaving nothing behind but a broken chrysalis to indicate its former bondage.

The chrysalis and butterfly suggest the empty graveclothes of our risen Lord. When Peter and John heard the news that the Lord's body was gone from the garden tomb, they ran all the way from their lodging. Peter entered the tomb and "he saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen" (John 20:6-7, NIV). The graveclothes once wrapped continuously around the body now lay collapsed, mute testimony that the corpse they had once shrouded had now emerged in life.

The bondage of death is broken. Christ is risen! We can face tomorrow with the assurance that Jesus is in fact alive to help us, to guide us, to give us hope for the future. And since He is living, our problems are not insolvable. The broken chrysalis of His graveclothes proclaims that Christ is Victor even over death. Because He lives, nothing is impossible.

Copyright © 1985-2014, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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