Summary: From the Mount of Transfiguration, we receive a preview of things to come !
“ A Preview of Things To Come”
The cross, the resurrection and transfiguration might be the most important events in the life of our Lord while here on this earth.
Why is this event so important, and what exactly does it mean ?
More Beyond !
Gibraltar. At that narrowing of the two land masses (Africa and Europe), there was a huge marker called the “Pillar of Hercules,” and prior to Columbus’ voyage in 1492, it carried a three word Latin saying chiseled into stone: NE PLUS ULTRA, which, translated, said, “No More Beyond.”
Coins, like stamps, can tell us about a country. They celebrate victories, praise founders, sloganize ethnic styles, and advertise scientific breakthroughs. “No More Beyond” was the standard belief of that time. No one would dare question the prevailing conviction that the western horizon contained nothing new.
After Columbus’s discovery of a new world beyond Spain, recognition of the revised outlook was pressed into its coins. Coins were struck with a simple Latin slogan, two words: PLUS ULTRA: which meant “More Beyond.” Coins in circulation in Florida in 1796, still had that slogan!
Verse 1 in our text has been, and is a troublesome verse to many.
The reason why is because what Jesus is referring to is so often misunderstood.
Many believe that Jesus was referring to his second coming, and are troubled by the fact that all those that were standing there have gone, and yet Jesus has yet to return. Some liberals in fact have gone so far as to say that Jesus actually erred in knowing when his second coming would happen.
However, we know this can’t be the case because Jesus makes no mistakes.
We err in believing that Jesus is referring in verse 1 to his second coming.
What he is referring to is his transfiguration which was fulfilled six days later, and which Peter, James, and John did behold. The transfiguration is then a preview of his coming, a preview of his kingdom. We can by looking at this great event in the life of our Lord get a greater understanding of his coming ! Let’s take note of some things from our text tonight:
1. The Appearance Experienced. 2-3
Matthew’s account in Matthew 9 says that his face did shine as the sun.
Luke’s account in Luke 9 reads that the fashion of his countenance was altered and his raiment was white, and glistering.
What the disciples are given here is a preview of his coming in glory !
Peter would later on write of this experience and would define it as such.
2 Peter 1:16-18......but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory; when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
John experienced such a unveiling of Christ on the Isle of Patmos.
Revelation 1:14-17 His head, and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire. And his feet were like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword; and his countenace was as the sun shineth in his strength.
This event probably occurred on Mt. Hermon which rises to the height of 92oo feet, and in some places snow can be visible year round. As Jesus appeared, he possibly appeared under this background.
One day Jesus is coming in all his glory. He will not come as the Son of man nor as the suffering servant, nor as the lamb that taketh away the sin of the world, but as the Supreme, Sovereign Lord, and as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. And when he comes, the Kingdom will be ours to inhabit, to be a part of.....
2. The Associations Enjoyed. V 4
And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses. Why these two ?
What is the significance ? In Moses we have those who died..and in Elijah we have those that shall be raptured at his coming, and not experience death.
When Jesus comes in his glory.....the dead in Christ shall rise first, and then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up.......
Just as Jesus was changed so too shall those he returns for...........I Cor 15..We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed..........
We are not burdened by this earthly body, but one day we shall be blessed with eternal.
Phil. 3:21 He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto
Illust. When Charles Spurgeon was a young minister, he wrote the ages Horatius Bonor, requesting a picture, Bonar sent a picture to him, and along with it a note bearing these words.......Dear Spurgeon, If you had waited a little, you would have had a better likeness, for soon I shall be like him.