Have a look at these two pictures. The caterpillar looks nothing like the butterfly. One crawls along the ground, the other flies gracefully. The caterpillar chews leaves, the butterfly sucks nectar. If you didn’t already know, you would never guess that it was even possible for a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly, but this miraculous metamorphosis is a wonderful picture of the transformation of a person into a child of God.
While the caterpillar is inside the cocoon, it doesn’t just grow wings but rather it decomposes and becomes something completely new.
Likewise, when a person receives Jesus as their Lord and saviour a complete transformation takes place. They share in Jesus’ crucifixion, they die with Him and in doing so all sin, guilt and shame is removed. The person then is resurrected in Christ’s resurrection. They are given Jesus’ righteousness, His perfection, His life and character. They become a completely new creation and are reborn into a new family with the creator of the universe as their loving daddy and Jesus as their loyal brother.
How is this possible? It is a great mystery and a wonderful miracle.
Romans 6:4-11 (NKJV) says: Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
It is this miracle of new life that we celebrate at Easter time.