“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”1 Peter 1:3:
When I was a child, I loved to catch bugs and put them in my “bug house” for a while before I let them go. I caught many caterpillars and butterflies during my childhood, and it blew my tiny mind that these critters are the same insect. The caterpillar just hasn’t gone through metamorphosis to become a butterfly.
I’ve never seen this process inside a cocoon. I’ve only seen the “before” and “after” stages.
Today is Holy Saturday: the day between Good Friday and Easter. Jesus had died on the cross on Good Friday but wouldn’t rise from the dead until Easter. It was a day of uncertainty and mourning for the disciples because they believed their Messiah was invincible.
And He was. He rose from the dead on Easter: evidence of His defeat over sin and death. 1 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have hope because of “the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Because he defeated sin and death, 1 Peter 1:3 says we also can experience a “new birth.” In Christian theology, this is called “regeneration.” It’s essentially a “metamorphosis” for believers in Jesus Christ.
When we are reborn through salvation in Jesus, we remain the same person just like a butterfly is the same insect as the caterpillar it was before its transformation. But we are regenerated. We are made righteous and gain eternal life in the presence of God.
Holy Saturday reminds of the stage in between our own “new birth” in Jesus Christ and the resurrection we will experience one day. Just like I’ve never seen the inbetween stage of a caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly, you and I can’t always see exactly what God’s up to here and now. But we have a “living hope” because of Easter. A hymn called “Because He Lives” captures this hope we always have as we anticipate eternal life with God:
And because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living just because He lives
Prayer: God, thank you for the “new birth” you’ve given me through your Son’s life, death, and resurrection from the grave. Help me remember today on Holy Saturday (and every day!) that I have a living hope, even when I’m in-between stages of life that feel uncertain or difficult. Help me trust that You are working all things out for my good and Your glory.