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“A Mountaintop Experience With God”

(26)

Sermon shared by John Hamby

March 2010
Summary: It is from the mountaintop spiritual experiences that we gain the encouragement and strength to face the difficult times.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
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talking with Jesus.”
These were two of the greatest figures from Israel’s history. Elijah was a symbol of the prophets, he had a mountaintop experience on Mt. Horeb. Moses was a symbol of the law, he had a mountaintop experience on Mt. Sinai. Moses died and Elijah was taken directly into Heaven. Does that ring any bells for you? The Transfiguration was a preview of the rapture of the saints at the Second Coming of Christ. Moses and Elijah represent the two categories of people who will be claimed by Jesus upon His return. Moses represents those taken in death and Elijah represents those taken in the Rapture. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” Mark says that they were talking to Jesus and Luke tells what they were talking about “…His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”
(Luke 9:31) The word “decease” means exodus, which should be accomplished in Jerusalem. They were talking about the cross. But notice the word “accomplish.” His death on the cross was not a disaster or accident, but rather it was the accomplishment of what He came into to this world to do.
Peter is first of the disciples to react to the events going on around them as recorded in verse five, “Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"—(6) because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.” (vv. 5-6)
The wonder and adoration of that moment was overwhelming. When God does something unexpected, something outside of our realm of experience, words fail us. Mark says that Peter, “…did not know what to say because he was terrified.” (v. 6) But Peter was always someone who had something to say even when there is nothing to say. Peter was the kind of guy who feels that it his job to fill every moment of silence with some verbal observation. I think all of us have fallen into that trap at sometime in our lives.
So Peter says, “….let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (v. 5)
I don’t know for sure what Peter’s intent was but surely implied in the making of the tabernacles is the desire to remain there. Peter and the others wanted to prolong the great moment on the mount. That is the danger of mountaintop experiences, we want to linger there, we don’t want to leave. But I also want you to realize that Peter was perhaps inadvertently putting Jesus on the same level as Moses and Elijah – just as Islam does today.
Yet the tremendous
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