Summary: [TRANSFIGURATION] It is the brightest spectacle in the universe. And it’s the closest thing I can wrap my head around to imagine Jesus in all of His glorious, powerful, infinite brightness. Link inc. to formatted text, audio & video, PowerPoint Pres.
Jesus Christ Supernova
A supernova is the brightest spectacle in the universe. It is a glorious, powerful occurrence. A star which goes supernova outshines its entire galaxy for eons of time. It’s the closest thing I can wrap my head around to imagine Jesus in all of His glorious, powerful, infinite brightness.
Luke clarifies that it was afternoon when Jesus led His inner circle up the mountain to pray. It was a long, steep climb, and when they reached the summit Jesus led them in prayer, and somewhere in there these guys went to sleep. If the disciples were good at anything it was sleeping when important things were going on. I take comfort in this, that if Peter, James and John could go to sleep when Jesus is talking, perhaps I shouldn’t be offended when some go to sleep on me! Bro. Mike said he closes his eyes when he’s meditating passionately about something spiritual...but that doesn’t explain when his mouth drops open!
But something woke their attention...Jesus underwent an incredible metamorphosis right before their very eyes. It is a snapshot preview of the coming kingdom of Christ upon the earth. One of these days Jesus is going to return and establish His earthly kingdom and rule and reign for 1,000 years. Last week in chapter 16 Jesus told them about the cross. His cross and their cross which they must bear. Now in chapter 17 He’s being glorified before them. He wants us all to know that there always must be a cross before there can be a crown. The pathway to glory is paved with suffering.
First let’s look at the MEN on the mountain:
Peter, James and John are 3 of the first disciples to follow Jesus. They had been in the fishing business together before, and now they form the inner circle. It was these 3 who earlier were taken into the home of Jairus and watched Jesus raise the man’s daughter from the dead. Then there’s this day we now study, and later in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before going to the cross, they will be there in that garden with Him.
On this day they are going to gain courage for their own cross. James will be the first disciple to die for Christ [Acts 12]. John will be the last. And he will go thru severe persecution before he dies. Peter will later experience many occasions of suffering and will wind up being crucified upside down, by his own request. All 3 of these guys learned from Jesus that it’s first the suffering, then the glory...first the cross, then the crown.
Each of them needed confidence in the Scriptures. And they found it on this mountain this day, for who is it that shows up with Jesus? Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the law, and Elijah the prophets. Moses stands for those who die in Christ, and Elijah symbolizes those who are translated, or raptured away.
I love the appearance of Moses and Elijah, for it reminds us of the very real truth that there is life after this life. Each of us are eternal souls that will live somewhere forever, or else die forever somewhere else. Some in our own church have died this year. Do we really believe they are alive today in heaven? You’d better believe it. They are more alive today than they ever have been. If you are living your life as though what you see now is all there is, you need to get a hold of this truth today. You will spend a very conscious existence somewhere for all of eternity!
This also helps confirm the answer to the oft asked question, “Will we know one another in heaven?” You got it partner. Peter awoke from his sleep, and with no introductions knew they were Moses and Elijah. How did he know? He just did! And when I get to heaven I’m going to know people I used to know, and those I never did know. I’ll recognize Bro. Steven, not because he’ll be hobbling on fake legs, because he won’t be, and yet I’ll know him!
The Bible says these 3, Jesus, Moses and Elijah were talking together. What about? About His upcoming sacrifice as the Lamb of God for all the ages, past, present and future!
I can just hear Moses saying, “Lord, you’re the only One Who has ever done it, but you fulfilled the moral law here on earth in perfection, never sinning...go on to the cross, and fulfill the ceremonial law on the cross, for every sacrifice of every spotless lamb from my days all pointed to you. I’m in heaven on credit Lord, and I’m trusting you now to pay in full my sin debt as you fulfill the moral law.”