Summary: In the Bible we see various individuals who had spiritual experiences. Some of them include Jacob, who had a dream of a a staircase leading into the sky, Isaiah who saw God and was terrified.
Have you ever had an experience in your life where you saw something beyond this world?
These experiences are rare. We live in a physical universe and we experience life in the physical universe. But, we know there are many things that go beyond what can be perceived by our five senses.
We know that the law of gravity is true, but we can’t see it. We can see the effects of it. We know that thoughts existence. But we can’t see them. We know that feelings, like love exist, but we can’t see them. We know things like atoms and electricity exist, as well as radiation and energy fields, but we can’t necessarily see them.
We also know, instinctively, that a spiritual universe exists. That it exists in the same place and time as we do right now. And that we interact with it through prayer and worship and other forms of Christian living.
There are rare moments though, in our lives, when we do see the spiritual reality around us.
These experiences are quite rare. But I’m sure there are times in your life when you remember sensing God’s presence. Or you saw an angel for a moment. Perhaps you saw something in a dream that you knew was from God. Maybe you’ve even had a vision from God, like the apostle Paul did, of heaven, or hell.
Many have seen these things. Brief glimpses into the spiritual realm.
And that’s what we’re going to be talking about. A moment in history when the spiritual realm broke into the physical universe and became visible to the naked eye for just a few moments. Experiences like that change your life forever.
In the Bible we see various individuals who had spiritual experiences. Some of them include Jacob, who had a dream of a a staircase leading into the sky, Isaiah who saw God and was terrified. Ezekiel, who saw an angel. Elijah, and Elisha, who saw angels. Daniel, who when he saw the son of man, collapsed in terror and lost all strength in his body.
Often these experiences are associated with fear and sorrow at the complete and utter holiness of God. To see even a part of God’s holiness, we are intensely aware of our sinfulness.
When Simon Peter saw the miracle of Jesus providing the catch of fish for him, he said to Jesus go away from me, I’m a sinful man.
But Jesus said to him, “Don’t be afraid.”
Just as was said to Daniel and Ezekiel and Isaiah, don’t be afraid.
I think if any of us saw the throne of God, we’d instantly lose a lot of our questions and struggles with faith.
So then why doesn’t God show himself to everyone? Because then there would be no free choice. You’d be compelled to believe. He wants people to freely choose him.
Today we’re talking about an event in history where Jesus is revealed to be supernatural, to be beyond this world, to be God in human form.
This is a shocking moment for the disciples, three of them, who are his inner circle. Only Peter, James, and John are invited for this moment. They are the closest followers. Only they may see this.
But we’re going to see how this event is deeply connected with the Old Testament, and other events where God meets with man. The whole Bible, it’s all connected, and we can’t understand the word properly unless we understand those connections.
This event in the life of Jesus is called by theologians “The transfiguration of Jesus.”
This is for me the center piece of the gospel of Mark. Last week, and this week, we’re seeing the very beating heart of who Jesus is. Last week we talked about the crucifixion, the carrying of the cross, the death to self, and Jesus predicting his own death.
Now we see the hope after such darkness, is new life, is resurrection life, is the fact that Jesus is alive. And this event foreshadows the fact that Jesus would resurrect three days after he died.
From Mark 9:2, “After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them.”
First, notice it says after six days. This is the number of days Moses waited, before the glory of God was revealed to him.
From Exodus 24:16, “...and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud.”
Second, notice that they are following Jesus up a high mountain. Note that Moses met with God on mount Sinai. And Elijah met with God on mount Horeb. Both up high mountains.