Summary: The mountain top experience-the transfiguration is a confirmation of the glory that awaits you and me.

weekend Message/Devotion

February 11, 2018

Reading: Mark 9:2-9

Seeing the Glory That Awaits Us

I am including the gospel reading this morning. Without this reading, today’s message won’t be as meaningful to us. I encourage you to make notes of today’s message and using them in studying Mark’s account of the transfiguration:

“2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 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.

7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” Mark 9:2-9

Can we see a foretelling in this event of the glory that awaits those who shall enter the kingdom of heaven? It is a goose-bump raising study, when taken seriously!

How so? Think about it. In the transfiguration, we see not only the risen Christ but also the risen Moses and the risen Elijah. Wow! There really is life after death, it is seen right here. Moses died and was buried in an unknown grave in the land of Moab. Elijah was taken up in a flaming chariot of fire.

“So, Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor; but no one knows his grave to this day.” Deuteronomy 34:5-6

“Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.:” 2 Kings 2:11

Moses and Elijah were dead and risen to the glory of heaven. That’s just plain old fact.

So, when Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the mountain top and was transfigured and joined in that transfiguration by Moses and Elijah, what an awe-inspiring experience they had! In the state of transfiguration Jesus, Moses and Elijah were seen in brilliant glowing white clothing.

And good old zealous Peter immediately wanted to put everything in that experience on hold and make three tabernacles, one for each of them. Mark tells us he came up with this because they were afraid and just didn’t know what to say.

Why not make the tabernacles? The reason for the appearance of the risen Moses and Elijah was not for worship, it was for the affirmation of eternal life in glory. Their tabernacles are already in the heavenly kingdom, as are yours and mine. They await us.

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2-2

Please pause here a moment – ask yourself: What would you say? What would you say to Jesus, who took you up on that mountain top and was joined there by Moses and Elijah, who were long since dead and buried? We wouldn’t be flippant, would we? We wouldn’t be thinking about an afternoon round of golf, would we? We wouldn’t be thinking about unpaid bills and unforgiven debts owed to us, would we?

Then all of a sudden, this cloud came over them and actually overshadowed them. From that cloud came the voice of God the Father who said to them, “This is my beloved Son. Hear Him!”

When that cloud disappeared, so did Elijah and Moses.

My understanding is that Jesus wanted to show them and us that there is life after death. And that life is glorious! Full of splendor and so flawless that there isn’t even a smudge of dirt or darkness to be had. No dark means no evil, no harm, no regrets, no pain, no suffering, not even a bad memory shall ascend with us. Now that’s for me! How about you?

It is not a stretch for us to see the embodiment of Father, Son and Holy Ghost during this whole transfiguration experience. Of course, we see Jesus the Christ. We also see God the Father in His speaking the words, “This is my beloved Son.” Spoken in a cloud that overshadows the entire scene – indicating to me the presence of the Holy Ghost, in the form of that cloud.

Death and funerals are not pleasant experiences for us. We bemoan the loss of loved ones, dear friends and others of importance in our lives. Our good friend Phil Bauza succumbed to cancer this week and will be buried this Tuesday in the national cemetery, with military honors. Our pain is not only the loss of a good friend but also in our compassion for his family at this time of sorrow and mourning. Yet, when we see the transfiguration of Jesus, Moses and Elijah on that mountaintop, we can also see Phil, for he is surely there with Jesus and in the midst of all that glory.

As we pray, let us remember the Bauza family. Let us pray