An illustration I heard recently painted a beautiful picture of what happens when receive life in Jesus Christ. While it wasn’t totally new to me, it certainly added a new dimension of revelation of God’s love for us and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Let’s take a very unscientific look at metamorphosis.
First there is a caterpillar, crawling on the ground in the dirt or on bushes and trees, eating the leaves. One day, it attaches itself to one place to be completely changed. What emerges from that cocoon looks nothing like the caterpillar that entered, nor does it function like it. Instead, it is now a beautiful butterfly. (Okay, I know some of them are not so pretty, but let’s just flow with the beautiful ones for this illustration.) This butterfly flits around with quiet beauty, going from flower to flower – just being a butterfly.
What if one day this butterfly catches sight of a flower in the middle of a garbage dump, maybe the one it lived in as a caterpillar? Its fellow butterflies beg it to stay with them far from the decay and stench, but this stubborn butterfly flies in anyway. It spends every remaining day of its life in that garbage dump. But, here’s the thing – it never returns to being a caterpillar. It was forever changed during metamorphosis.
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
Once we have received Christ’s atoning sacrifice for all our sins – even the ones we commit after receiving Him – we are (present tense) forever a new creation in Christ. Jesus paid the price in full and declared, “It is finished.” Hallelujah! What freedom we have in Christ! What love He has for us!