If we really want to know Jesus, then we will want to know the end of his story. However, Jesus story never ends ...
Death is certain, but Not Final ...
Before there is a resurrection there is first a death ...
by Chris Benjamin
Thursday, April 13, 2000
Ten days before Easter Sunday
This morning I witnessed a miracle. I stepped out into the gray morning to see how my plants and bushes were doing and I noticed the faintest, quietest motion inside one of the bushes. Two large fiery colored Cecropia moths were stretching their wings. Their wings had a velvety cats eye pattern and their scarlet, feathery antennae were stroked back on their heads majestically. Their bodies were colored with beautiful, white and fire-red furry stripes. My first thought was not, "Where did these come from?"; rather it was "Theyre here! Theyre finally here!" I rushed back into the house to tell Karen and the boys that the caterpillars had hatched.
Last spring, we were visited by two unusual guests. They didnt ask if they could stay. They just showed up one day - two funny-looking little fat green caterpillars. The red and blue knobs gave them the appearance of having a face a clown face. They showed up on our red-tip bushes and just began eating. I wasnt very fond of those bushes and had thought about pulling them up, so I gave the caterpillars permission to eat all they wanted. They took me up on my offer and they swelled to four times their original size. They did contribute to the entertainment of my family. Wyatt, my son, thought they looked just like Heimlich the caterpillar in the movie A Bugs Life and I must admit they did! So almost everyday we came to see what they were doing, how they were growing, and just wondering if the bushes were still there and if any of their friends had moved in.
Then came the day they made their cocoons. We really didnt know what to suspect, but we noticed that they were getting less active. Then they started spinning their silk for the cocoon and pulled the leaves up around them. It was fascinating to watch them form the cocoon until they were finally encased in a brownish grayish shell that perfectly matched the color of the tree bark. From that time on, we began to wonder how long they would remain in the cocoon. As the months rolled on, we were certain it be through the winter. We slowly began to forget about the caterpillars. Every once in awhile when I was trimming a bush or mowing, I would look to see if perhaps the cocoon was split or if something was moving. No change. Never. We just got used to the two cocoons being in the bushes.
Then yesterday, Wyatt brought home a reading book about Gus. Gus is a caterpillar and he becomes a butterfly. Of course this made us think about the Heimlichs. Wyatt asked about them and Karen glanced at me. I told her in parental semaphore that they were likely "d-e-a-d." After all, those gray husks had gotten weathered and who knows how much pesticide they had been exposed to as I was killing chinch bugs, fire-ants, mosquitoes and every other pest. I would expect that if they were alive there would be some sort of sign, at least maintenance of good color. Karen said, "Lets give them a while longer and then we can cut down the branches." I really didnt care one way or another. After all, I had gotten used to the gray husks.
This morning [April 13, 2000] was a symbol of Gods power to make life. The gray dead-looking husks that we had almost given up on were now the center of vibrant beautiful life. We had waited and grew impatient rather quickly. We just expect things so soon. The lovely creature stretching its wings was a reminder of Gods power and promises. Some may think it only coincidence or romanticism on our part to believe that the metamorphosis of a caterpillar has any sort of connection with the Resurrection. The cynic may say that the Resurrection of Christ is just a myth inspired by the scientific processes of nature. It seems more likely to me that God, the cosmic Artist, has inserted an important theme, a motif, into all of His creation.
New Creation even Now Eternal Life begins now! 2 Corinthians 5:17 - I Corinthians 15:57-58 (the connection between the resurrection and discipleship) Jesus after his resurrection did not just float up to heaven like a ghost. In fact he had a hefty agenda and was quite busy for over a month ...
Invitation: Before there is a resurrection there is first a death.
Philippians 3:10 I want to Know Christ and the power of his RISING share in his suffering and conform to his DEATH
Will your death be the final end, or will dying to self be a new beginning? Would you like to know the power of resurrection that can change the gray husk of suffering, pain, and loss into new creation even now (not just in that great getting up morning)? Then meet Jesus. Know him!
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