Jesus is Transfigured on the Mountain. As we begin to look ahead at The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I believe it is important to understand as much as we can surrounding all that happened before, during, and after the RESURRECTION. I believe each event tells us more about the CHARACTER of WHO OUR GOD is. This event did NOT happen on this exact day BUT God became HUMAN FOR US. That is what God Incarnate means ….. HE became HUMAN and THAT in and of itself is a metamorphosis of HIS being…… the Union of Divinity and Humanity. Jesus IS God, yet He IS man. Although Matthew 17: 1-13 is our main reading for today, the Transfiguration is also told in Mark 9:2-9, and Luke 9:27-36.
Transfiguration in the Greek is metamorphoo … look familiar?? It is the basis for our word metamorphosis!! Transfiguration means to change into another form and/or appearance. It is a change that glorifies or exalts. Christ’s appearance was changed and was resplendent with divine brightness!! GOD’s CHARACTER NEVER CHANGES….JUST HIS APPEARANCE!
Here are some quick notes on the reading … trying to keep this shorter because we still have a regular daily reading … but FEEL free to ask any questions or make comments:
- God was revealing just an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bit of HIS Glory — a brief glimpse of the true glory of the KING!
- WHO appeared with Jesus?? Moses and Elijah. WHY them? Jesus came to fulfill BOTH the LAW (Moses symbolizes the LAW) and the PROPHECIES (Elijah symbolizes the PROPHETS and Prophecies). Moses and Elijah’s presence with Jesus confirmed Jesus’ Messianic mission – to fulfill God’s law and the words of God’s prophets.
- God’s voice in the cloud over Mt. Sinai gave authority to HIS LAW (Exodus 19:9) in addition to a very visible sign that HE was and is and will forever be God. God’s voice at the transfiguration gave POWER to Jesus’ words. And then the three disciples HEARD “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” – Matthew 17:5. LIKE…. WOW!!!
- Don’t tell anyone what you have seen. Why? (I personally would want to SHOUT it from the mountain top!). However, they were not to tell anyone for several reasons, but the main one was IT WAS NOT TIME YET. The exact date was set in Motion at the ORIGINAL Passover from Exodus 12…it is not time yet~! Without The Resurrection, Peter, James, and John REALLY could not comprehend much less explain what they saw. I am sure they NEW it was awesome …. But there was NO way telling anyone about it would make any sense… YET!!
- Elijah — Why are they saying Elijah must come first? BECAUSE SCRIPTURE SAID HE MUST. Malachi 4:5 states: “I will send you Elijah the prophet before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes:” Elijah was one of the greatest prophets who ever lived … I mean it doesn’t get much better than chariots of fire coming to get you to take you up to heaven, right (2 Kings 2:11)? ALSO Malachi 3:1 states: “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me….” There are actually TWO messengers that Malachi 3:1 is speaking of, the first is John the Baptist and the second is Jesus Christ. Both Malachi and John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord Jesus Christ. God did send John the Baptist, NOT a reincarnated Elijah, NOT Elijah, but one LIKE Elijah. The disciples don’t put the pieces together…. UNTIL we read in Matthew 17:11-13 – “THEN the disciples knew HE was speaking of John the Baptist.” Both John the Baptist and Elijah were sent to PREPARE THE WAY. And then there is the possibility that Elijah could be one of the witnesses in Revelation 11:3 who will pave the way for Christ’s second and final return. With Malachi’s death, the voice of God’s prophets would be silent for 400 years. Then a prophet would come, LIKE ELIJAH, to herald Christ’s coming…. This prophet was John the Baptist.
As you read the entries about the Holy Week, ask yourself WHAT DOES JESUS WANT FROM US? He wants our TOTAL, COMPLETE, SOLD OUT TO HIM, WHOLE HEART DEDICATION. He does not want half heart commitment. We cannot pick and choose the parts we like and forget the rest. God desires for us to follow ALL of HIM; the brutality of the cross along with the crown; judgment as well as mercy. Think about how God protected, provide for, guided with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, manna from heaven, guidance on how to live by HIS law, and how to be pure in making sacrifices for atonement. God provided for HIS people in the wilderness .. And he desires to provide for us today through Jesus Christ.. the final sacrifice… our High Priest who allows us to speak directly to HIM. One final thought as you are thinking about The Resurrection — HOW GREAT THE LOVE of GOD is for US… for YOU and ME…. that HE gave the life of HIS ONLY son so we might have eternal life with HIM and the abundant life while here on earth. THINK about HIS love… HIS AGAPE love… HIS PURE love… TOTALLY unconditional.
Sharing HIS love,