Butterflies in the Bible Butterflies flying over flowers.

Butterflies In The Bible – A Powerful Symbol of Hope

In the Bible, butterflies, as we know them, are not mentioned. God created these beautiful creatures on the fifth day of creation, and throughout the centuries, they serve as an object lesson, silently proclaiming the creator’s ability for marvelous transformation.

Butterflies in the Bible – Nature

The butterfly’s metamorphosis from a crawling caterpillar to that beautiful, winged creature is not a new creation, but rather, a new and very different creature. This radical change is a powerful symbol of hope.

Female Monarch Butterfly on Flower

These beautiful creatures of God’s creation, with their vibrant colors, that resulted from their life’s beginning as a caterpillar, marvelously illustrate spiritual truths. God intended that nature silently, but powerfully, speak of Him. He tells us this in Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (KJV).

The butterfly serves as a symbol of God and His magnificent work. The dual nature of the beautiful butterfly is so true when considering the natural transformation process from a lowly caterpillar to either a black butterfly, white butterfly, blue butterfly, yellow butterflies, or even the magnificent monarch butterfly!

The crawling caterpillar does not realize that the magnificent creatures with vibrant colors that glide above him in the air, and drinking sweet nectar from the flowers, are actually both his relatives and his future! Butterflies serve as symbols of transformation as they illustrate God’s promises.

The caterpillar’s metamorphosis to newness of life, even though it may be animal life, is a picture, a symbol of the newness of life in so many different ways throughout the Bible. Jesus Christ, the Creator, came to Earth as a man for the purpose of bringing us new life in so many different ways.

Just as there are many different kinds of caterpillars that result in many different kinds of butterflies, so, too, are there many new beginnings talked about through various Bible verses in the word of God that are pictured through the caterpillar’s metamorphosis.

 Butterflies in the Bible — Symbolism of Adam and Jesus Christ

This symbol of transformation shown by the butterfly is seen in the first man, Adam, and Jesus Christ. Adam, the first human, was also a symbol, a type, or as Romans 5:14 calls him “the figure of him that was to come.” (KJV), which is Jesus Christ.

Picture of angel expelling Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden

God created Adam, who though created sinless, fell into sin, and with his sin brought the curse of death to all of creation. But in the symbolism of the butterfly, Christ Jesus, also called in Scripture “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45) was an entirely new, powerful, and glorious creature. Just as Adam brought death to all of the world through his sin, Jesus Christ brought life again to all of the world. This is summed up in 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (KJV)

Butterflies in the Bible — Spiritual Transformation

Just as the butterfly’s transformation process is truly a supernatural event, so, too, is the new life in Christ. The new birth of the caterpillar is the symbol of transformation that is very much like what Jesus talked about in being “born again.” Jesus said to Nicodemus, and to all people today, in the Gospel of John chapter 3, verse 3, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (KJV).

The new life in Christ comes after we are truly born again, that is, we have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior to deliver us from the penalty of sin, which is eternity in hell. After we make this extremely important decision, we are “in Christ,” and according to 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (KJV)

Man teaching the Bible.

A new life in Christ is not simply a change of beliefs, a conversion to another type of religion, a fresh start, or a new resolution. Rather, it is a personal relationship with God the creator. When a person admits they are a hell-deserving sinner and accepts Jesus Christ into their heart to save them from hell, they are forgiven, washed from their sins by his blood, and on their way to heaven.

They are truly “born again,” just as Jesus said they must be in order to have eternal life in heaven. Just as a person is born into their physical family, or, in the symbology of a butterfly, from a caterpillar hatching through its egg, the physical birth first, the new birth, the spiritual birth, the “butterfly birth,” if you will, puts them into the family of God.

As new creatures, now with the Holy Spirit in our hearts, God expects us to live differently, that is, according to His will for us, and not according to our former way of life. This is expressed in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (KJV).

Having God’s Holy Spirit in our hearts helps us to change to be more like Christ Jesus, according to 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (KJV)

The new life is Christ is a different life. After a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior from hell, they have a new life, a new future, they are forgiven, the weight of sin has been lifted, and they now know that heaven is their eternal home. They are no longer their old self. But while they are still on Earth, their life has been changed. Now they have God’s Holy Spirit living in their hearts, according to Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (KJV)

Butterflies in the Bible — The Resurrection of Christ Jesus

The symbolism of butterflies can be applied to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s lifeless body was placed for a short time inside of a tomb, similar to the cocoon of the butterfly, and then, three days later, Christ arose from the grave with a new, glorified body to a new life! No more was He bound by the confining flesh, never again would He suffer, never again would He die. Now He is the conqueror of both death and hell.

Empty tomb with sunlight

The “caterpillar” version of Jesus has been aptly described as “the bearded and sandaled One.” But He is coming back, dramatically changed, this time not to die, but as Conqueror, King over all of the Earth, ruling over the entire world with a rod of iron.

One of the Bible verses that tell us this is Revelation 19:15, “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (KJV) This is certainly a dramatic process of metamorphosis!

Butterflies in The Bible — Believer’s Baptism

The rite of baptism also reflects the symbolism of the butterfly. Just as a person is put under water for a brief time, which symbolizes the death and grave of Jesus, and then brought up out of the water, that person shows that, symbolically, they have, like Christ, arose to a new life. The caterpillar-to-butterfly concept is similar. The caterpillar/butterfly is the same entity, but very different in its appearance and abilities.

man baptizing another man

Just as Christians who follow Jesus in baptism are to reflect His new life as they seek to serve Him. The symbolism of baptism is summed up in Romans 6:4 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (KJV) Getting baptized as a Christian believer is a part of spiritual growth. It is not just Christian tradition, it is God’s will for every Christian believer.

Butterflies in the Bible — The Believer in Heaven

Just as the earth-dwelling caterpillar transforms into a winged creature is also a symbol of hope of the resurrection of the physical body. After the cocoon of death, the Christian arises into a changed, new body, which is capable of living in heaven in the very presence of God. 1 Corinthians 15:51&52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (KJV)

steps going up to light with rainbows on either side

Unlike the butterfly, which eventually dies, the changed body of the believer will be an incorruptible body that cannot die. The certainty of the physical resurrection of the body is a Bible fact symbolized by the butterfly. There in heaven, enjoying our new body, is the promise of God found in Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (KJV)

Another glorious promise concerning our new body is found in Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (KJV) All of the pain and suffering that is endured in this life is temporary. But the glory and bliss that awaits all Christian believers in heaven is never ending.

Butterflies in the Bible — The Entire Heaven and Earth

Butterflies are a symbol of hope. Not only can a person look forward to a glorious change for the better, but also, this very Earth itself will be changed. Someday, this entire world will be totally gone, and God will give us a new, and better, heaven and earth.

This transformation of this present Earth is predicted in Hebrews 1:10-12 “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (KJV)

sunrays over the globe

The new heaven and new earth, the butterfly version, is promised in Revelation 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (KJV)

All of these wonderful changes are only because of the power, love, and might of Jesus Christ. He said Himself in Revelation 21:5 “Behold, I make all things new.” (KJV).

From lowly caterpillar to soaring butterfly, this is just a foreshadow, a symbol, of God’s almighty power. He takes the things that He has already created, like the caterpillar, and He makes them new, like the butterfly. Such knowledge can be too wonderful for us to understand, but we can embrace it, rejoice in it, and be comforted by it, by believing the very Word of God as we wait for all of these glorious changes.

Butterflies in the Bible Pinterest optimized image.

For another article on animals in the Bible check out Dinosaurs In The Bible.

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