The caterpillar with its metamorphosis into a butterfly is a wondrous parable of our miraculous change as we become Christians.
The caterpillar is imprisoned in a way, as he is only able to crawl or climb trees and bushes; always in contact with the bush or tree limb. He only knows how to eat. His appetite is insatiable - he is never satisfied. Everything in his wake is destroyed. No matter how much he eats, he wants more.
BUT there comes a day when he must willingly surrender himself to the cocoon (he even has to make it himself) to imprison himself even unto death. If he refuses for any reason to do this, he will never become a butterfly and know the freedom of flying through the air. As a butterfly, he will no longer eat the leaves of the trees or bushes; he will now drink the sweet nectar of the flowers. The old caterpillar is really dead, and he is now truly a new creature, the beautiful butterfly. The change is visible for all to see.
While in our pre-Christian life, we are chained and imprisoned by our sins. We are insatiable in our desires for more things and adventures, always searching, but not always knowing what it is we search for. We quite often leave destruction in our wake as we climb the ladder of success in our worldly life. For many of us, there comes a time in our life where we wish we were dead. We are so unhappy with the way our life is, but we don't know how to change it or lack the strength of will to change it. Many of us have tried many times to change only to find we are again doing all the things we do not want to do and seem helpless to change our conditions. Fortunately, our Heavenly Father, who watches, sends someone our way to show us the way to freedom. Some of us choose to listen and some do not. We are given the choice.
We are told of Jesus and how He came to buy us that freedom. We are told how He has already paid the price for our sins and we now only have to believe it and accept His gift of Grace and Freedom. We are told that in order to accept His gift of freedom, we must first realize we are living a life of sin and admit it and repent of it. Then we must submit our will to Him and ask Him for forgiveness. He will not only forgive us, He will walk with us through the death unto life process, and on to freedom. He does not leave us to do it alone.
By willingly submitting our will to Jesus, we are submitting to the cocoon of His Grace (His gift to us) which wraps us in His protective love that will get us through the death process. We should then willingly put on His armor daily as protection from the evil around us. He will then transform us through His love into a wonderful new creature as free as the butterfly. We soar to new heights never before thought possible. We are free and do not feel a loss of the things that are past.
It seems strange, but as we give up what we consider "control" (we never really do have control, we just think we do), and give up our control to Jesus, rather than feeling a loss of control and under control of another, we actually feel more free than ever. We are not to go back to our sinful ways and be again imprisoned, as the butterfly never goes back to eating leaves. We are to feed on the wonderful love and words of our Savior Jesus and be nourished as the butterfly feeds only on the sweet nectar of the flowers. Our old self actually dies, and a new creation lives with Christ in our hearts. This change is as dramatic as the caterpillar/butterfly and is visible to all who know us. Some of them in turn will ask you about this change and how they too can be free.