|Posted by Adrian Savage on March 25, 2015 at 6:50 PM|
How is a butterfly a symbol for Easter?
POSTED ON March 25, 2015 by Adrian Savage
Long before the time of Christ, Egyptians saw a similarity between the cloth wrappings of their mummies and the butterfly’s cocoon. For these early people and the Greeks, who placed golden butterflies in their tombs, this insect was a symbol of resurrection, new life, and immortality. In other traditions, the butterfly was a reminder of reincarnation.
The butterfly has long been a Christian symbol of the resurrection, for it disappears into a cocoon and appears dead, but emerges later far more beautiful and powerful than before. The three stages of the butterfly’s metamorphoses are symbolic of the three stages in the life cycle of Christ and the Christian.
The caterpillar’s non-stop eating reminds us of normal earthly life where people are often preoccupied with taking care of their physical needs. The caterpillar’s life also reminds us of Jesus’ life on earth.
Caterpillars then “entomb” themselves in what appears to be lifeless cocoons portraying the crucifixion and burial of Jesus and the death of all humans.
The third and final stage is the appearance of a butterfly with jewel-colored wings and the ability to soar, which represents the resurrection into a new and glorious life free of material concerns and restrictions.
A major theme in Paul’s teachings is that “we shall all be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51). The Christian hope is that what is sown in the grave as a weak mortal body will be raised an indestructible spiritual body not subject to temptation, sorrow, death, or pain (1 Cor. 15:44-54). Through death the spirit will escape – not from its body but from the vulnerabilities and hardships of mortal flesh.
What better symbol of the Resurrection — an inanimate object out of which comes life. Butterflies are the perfect symbol of the tomb Christ conquered and every Christian’s hope of their own rebirth.
Happy Easter Everyone!!