There is new life in Christ Jesus.
A butterfly. If you can't find a real one, you can find an artificial one at a hobby shop or make one. (see the link the bottom of this sermon)
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." John 3:3 (NIV)
One night a man named Nicodemus came to talk to Jesus. As Jesus was talking to him, he said something that Nicodemus didn't understand. He told Nicodemus, "No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." Nicodemus was really puzzled by what Jesus said. He just couldn't understand how someone could be born again. To this day, a lot of people still have trouble understanding how that can be possible.
This morning I have brought something that might help us to understand what Jesus meant. I have brought a butterfly. Just look at my butterfly! Isn't it beautiful? I think the butterfly is one of the most beautiful things that God has ever created, but it wasn't always so beautiful.
As you probably know, the butterfly started out as a fuzzy little caterpillar. Now some people may think caterpillars are cute, some may think that they are funny, but probably no one would say that they are beautiful. A caterpillar is a worm -- and worms are not beautiful! Then, one day the caterpillar spins a cocoon about himself and stays there for several weeks. When it comes out, it is no longer a caterpillar, it has been miraculously changed into a beautiful butterfly.
God didn't just take a caterpillar and stick some wings on him and paint the wings all different colors. When the cocoon opens and the butterfly crawls out, it is a new creation. The caterpillar is gone! It has now become a butterfly.
That is a good picture of what Jesus meant when he said we had to be "born again." The Bible says, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" When we invite Jesus to come into our heart, we become a new creation. God doesn't just clean us up and slap on a little paint, he makes us into a new person. Would you rather be, a worm or a butterfly? Jesus will make you into a new creation if you will invite him into your heart.
Dear Lord, we thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross so that we, like the butterfly, can become a new creation. We ask you to change us and to make us beautiful. Amen.