Without a transformational event in our lives; without an occurrence that fundamentally changes us and redefines us, all of us remain chained to our past and remain defined by the mistakes and failures of our past. But if in our lives there has been a transformational event of such power that it changes who we are and how we define ourselves, we will be freed from our past and will have a new point of reference.
In nature, this is pictured in the caterpillar and the butterfly. The caterpillar’s life is chained to it origin and is therefore defined by crawling on the ground, a worm gnawing on leaves. The caterpillar has a physical birth, but it lacks a transformational event. But now contrast this with the butterfly. The butterfly has gone through a metamorphosis, a transformational event, and now the days as a caterpillar are gone and forgotten. Now the same creature is defined by the results of the transformational event. Life is defined not by physical birth, but by the new transformed creature. Now there is the dazzling beauty of glorious wings, the drinking of nectar for food and the journeys of effortless flight going from flower to flower.
The analogy should be clear, for just as a caterpillar needs to be transformed to experience the life of freedom and beauty displayed in the butterfly, so every human needs to experience a great transformational event to rise above their ugly and sinful natural state. But where is such an event to be found? How am I ever to be transformed and rise from my natural misery and wretchedness?
The Bible gives the answer to this question in multiple places expressed in various ways:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Jesus Christ in John 3:3
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My words and believes Him who sent Me . . . has passed from death to life.” Jesus Christ in John 5:24
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor. 5:17
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, and raised us up with Him. Ephesians 2:4-5
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you.” Ezekiel 36:26
In these verses and more, the gospel message is clear: Encountering Jesus Christ and being transformed by Him is the only event that has transformational power. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be transformed. Other events may change your circumstances, but those changes will leave you a caterpillar. Trust Christ and you will be born again and your new transformed life as a butterfly will begin.
SDG rmb 7/19/2017