Have you missed the significance of one of the most important events in the earthly life of Jesus?
I’m thinking of the transfiguration of Jesus.
Luke 9 records this most important event. Eight days after the confession of Simon Peter and the other disciples that Jesus was “The Christ of God,” Jesus took Peter, James, and John on the mountain to pray. As He was praying, the appearance of His face changed and his clothes became “dazzling white.” Elijah and Moses appeared with Him and spoke of His departure which would take place at Jerusalem.
What took place that day? What is the meaning of the transfiguration?
In the transfiguration, something of the glory of the world of the Father broke though on earth. His countenance changed and His clothes were dazzling white. The transfigured person of Christ was akin to the resurrected body–it was both like and unlike His normal appearance. In this we see a foretaste of the resurrection appearances.
This may help us understand something of our future resurrected bodies.
What was the significance of the transfiguration for Jesus and His disciples–and for us?
First, it shows that Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. Moses was the great law-giver and Elijah represented the prophets. Moses and Elijah ministered to Him as He prepared for the cross.
Second, the ministry of Moses and Elijah confirmed the decision of Jesus to suffer at Jerusalem (Luke 9:22) and gave Him encouragement for this world-changing decision.
Third, the transfiguration confirmed the disciples’ confession that He was the Christ (Luke 9:20) and commanded them to accept this new teaching (for them and any Jew of that day) about suffering.
Finally, it showed that God’s plan from the beginning involved the cross. As Simon Peter later wrote, “He was destined before the foundation of the world” to shed His precious blood which effected our transformation (1 Peter 1:19-21).
As we prepare for Easter, let us see what God did in the past and what He is doing in the present to show us His glory and to make Himself known.
I rejoice knowing our Lord has gone before us and has prepared a place for us (John 14:1-6). We have been raised to newness of life in Him and we shall one day be raised to live with Him forever.
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