Summary: Transformed from larva to dragonfly! A Sermon for EASTER.
I don`t know where the following story came from, so I can`t acknowledge it properly. All I know is that, very simply, it tells us a great deal about Easter and life after death.
"A large family of larvae were living at the bottom of a pond.
One day they held a meeting to talk about a problem that had bothered them for years. This was the problem - Every time a member of their family climbed to the top of a water- lily stem to the surface of the pond, no-one ever saw them again.
They made a solemn promise to each other. They promised that the next one to climb a water-lily stem would come back and tell the rest of the family all about it - what it was like up there at the top.
Soon one of the older larvae felt and urge growing inside him, an urge to climb the water- lily stem right through to the pond`s surface. Up the stem he went, and, in a few moments, he was safe and sound on top of the water-lily pad, drying in the sun.
He looked around and saw a hungry old frog catching flies for his dinner. "Is that what happened to all our friends?" he wondered. "Is that why they never came back?".......... He was just about to climb back down again when something strange began to happen to him........ As the sun grew hotter, he began to change - he was changing into something NEW, something he`d never dreamed of. He was becoming a dragonfly!
Soon he was skimming over the surface of the pond. It was WONDERFUL - he felt so FREE. But then he looked down into the darkness of the pond, and remembered his promise. "I must go back and tell them all about this" he thought to himself, and dived down to the surface of the pond.......... But when he hit the surface, he found that he couldn`t get through. It was as if there was a skin covering the water, too thick for him to break through. So THAT was why no-one had ever come back to tell the others...... He was sorry he couldn`t keep his promise, but he understood why.
Then he saw two other things:
a) He saw that, even if he had gone back to tell them, they wouldn`t understand and, b) he saw that it would be impossible for him to live in the cold and darkness of that pond. He had CHANGED.....TOTALLY CHANGED....... NOW HE COULDN`T LIVE THAT WAY, and if he was really honest, he didn`t WANT to leave this glorious life in the warmth of the sun. He loved his new life, his new body, his new freedom so much that he wouldn`t want to go back and live in such a limited way again.".
Well, that`s the story. I wonder if you can see what it`s got to do with Easter Day?
There are lots of people who live in this pond we call earth who say that, when we come to the end of this life, there is NOTHING..... (or if they don`t say it, that`s how they live - as if this life is all there is). For people like that, death is like a hungry old frog swallowing us up into blackness.
But we Christians say, "No! That`s not true". Because we believe and trust in Jesus, we know that, when we pass from he darkness of life in the pond into the glory of life beyond death, there will be a great transformation. We will be changed into something beyond our wildest imaginings.
St. Paul wrestled with this when he wrote: "Someone may ask, `How will the dead be brought back to life again? What kind of bodies will they have? WHAT A FOOLISH QUESTION! Look at your own garden if you want to find the answer. You put a seed into the ground, but that seed doesn`t grow into a plant unless it first dies. Then, when the green shoot comes out of the ground, it`s very different from the seed you first planted - very different indeed. God has given it a beautiful new body - just the kind He wants it to have........ THAT`S HOW IT WILL BE WITH US....... these earthly bodies will be very different from our heavenly body, when we come back to life again. Here, our bodies are NATURAL.... human bodies. THERE they will be SUPERNATURAL..... spiritual bodies.
And Paul said all this because this is what happened to Jesus at the Resurrection. And, in many ways, what happened to Jesus` Body will happen to ours when we go home to Heaven.
I know that lots of people scoff at this and say, "Show us your proof. Show us that what you`re saying isn`t `pie in the sky when you died`!. Well, Easter Day gives us that proof. It`s as if Jesus went to the other side of the surface of the pond, and then DID come back to tell the tale. He told them "Examine me to see if it is really ME. Look at my Body and see if it is REAL..... I`m not a GHOST"........... And they DID, and found that this Man Jesus, whose Body had been killed on a Cross, was alive again in a Body which was a REAL FLESH AND BLOOD BODY, a Body that could eat bread and drink wine.... and yet a Body which was also very DIFFERENT: