Sunday School To Go - Why Do We See Butterflies at Easter?
It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, there is something for you to learn together in God’s Word.
Enjoy spending time as a family and enjoy learning about God’s love for us!
Why do we see Butterflies at Easter?
Happy Easter! Today we celebrate one of the most important days in the church. We celebrate because Jesus rose up from the dead, because he came back to life and is living even today. Many times we have heard the story of how Jesus died on the cross and then beat death by coming back to life on the third day. Easter is not a surprise for us, but it is a wonderful celebration.
Unlike us, the followers of Jesus were surprised on that first Easter. They were shocked. They didn’t know what to think. Even though Jesus had told them he would die and then be raised again to life, they just couldn’t believe it.
Early on that first Easter morning, three women followers of Jesus went to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. The tomb was a cave dug into the side of a hill where the body of Jesus had been wrapped up with linen cloths and placed on a bench of stone.
The women had many surprises waiting for them that Easter morning. First of all, they were surprised to see that the huge stone had been rolled away from the doorway—the tomb was open. Then they bent down and went into the burial cave and were startled to see an angel sitting in the tomb. They were surprised again to hear the angel tell them that Jesus was not there; he was alive and already on his way to another town. Then the women turned around and were amazed to see the cloths that had wrapped Jesus were folded and on the stone bench where his body had been.
They ran from the tomb, too scared to say anything. Of course, Jesus had told them that he would die and then be raised to life again, but when it actually happened, it was too surprising for the women to accept at first.
It maybe would have felt like this.
Imagine you had a pet caterpillar, and you loved watching and taking care of him. Then after a short time you watched your caterpillar spin a chrysalis. A chrysalis is a thick outer coating that totally covers the caterpillar. Nothing happened for days. If you didn’t know that butterflies come out of chrysalises, you might think your pet had died. You’d be sad that you had lost your fuzzy caterpillar. But just a little while later, you would see that the chrysalis was empty and a beautiful butterfly was fluttering around. Your pet caterpillar was not dead. It had changed into something beautiful, a new butterfly.
Butterflies are often used as a symbol of Easter. We show butterflies at Easter, because they go through a cycle of living, going into a dark chrysalis where it looks like they are dead, then breaking out as something new. This reminds us of just how Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Butterflies decorate churches at Eastertime to remind us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Like a butterfly coming out of a dead-looking chrysalis, Jesus came out alive from the tomb with a resurrected body that would never die.
Butterflies also remind us of the new life we have as Christians. Read Romans 6:3-4.
From the time we are born, we are sinful, doing things we aren’t supposed to and not doing the things we are supposed to. But through our baptism, God gives us new life and turns us into people who can work for Him. Butterflies remind us of new life we have in Jesus death a resurrection.
God Sighting Look around and see if you can find the butterfly symbol anywhere in our churches or in stores. Whenever you see it, let it remind you of Jesus’ resurrection and the new life you have in Him!
Paper Towel Butterflies To make your own butterflies, gather some plain white paper towels, food coloring, and pipe cleaners. Mix your food coloring with water in separate bowls. Now fold your paper towel in half, in half again, another time, then one more time so that it is in sixteenths.
Dip each corner of the folded paper towel into the colored water. Don’t dip the paper towel in too deep or for too long. Leaving part of the paper towel white in some spots also helps with the coloring.
Let the excess water drip back into the bowls after dipping each color, then open up the paper towel and lay flat to dry. Once each paper towel is dry, gather along the center of each paper towel, wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twist it off, even out the wings, flatten the body and then curl the antennas. Now you can hang it from the ceiling and let it remind you of how Jesus died and rose for you!
Cooking Activity – Toast Butterflies Start by putting a tablespoon or two of butter in a microwavable container and melting it. Then mix it up with a few drops of food coloring. You can make several colors of butter if you want a very colorful butterfly. Let the butter re-harden.
Then take a regular piece of bread and toast it up. When it is still hot, put your colored butter on the bread and let it melt. (You can also put the butter on first if you are toasting in a toaster oven.)
When your bread is colored, cut it diagonally and flip the pieces so the center points of the triangles touch. You can make a body with a plain piece of toast or with a French toast stick. Add raisins for eyes and antennae and you have a toast butterfly!
Bible Verse Butterflies Using a coffee filter, drop diluted food coloring drops on it. Let dry. Pinch the middle of the coffee filter to make butterfly wings. Use a pipe cleaner or a twist tie to hold the center, and make antennae. Make it together, and then read Revelation 21:5 together. Write the first half of the verse on your butterfly and put it somewhere that will remind you that God is making all things new in YOU!
Prayer Dear God, We praise you, mighty Lord, for rising up from the dead to new life. Thank you, Jesus, that we, too, will not die, but will live with you forever in heaven. We praise you for Easter. Amen.
Some resources taken from Sitting on the Rainbow by Ruth Gilmore.