Summary: At the Transfiguration God broke through Dramatically, He also wants to breaks through into our lives, Dramatically, Gradually and Permanently.
When God ‘breaks through’
Luke 9:28-36 & 1 Kings19:19-21
It had been dark and overcast that July day. The sun had not appeared. There had been several showers but we kept looking up into the sky to see if the sunny periods the weather men had forecast would come.
The children were restless because they would not play on the beach in the rain and the lovely stretch of sand was deserted.
Then about four in the afternoon it happened. The rain stopped and suddenly a shaft of sunlight broke through the clouds, a small blue patch of sky was seen and for about an hour we were bathed in light and warmth.
We have all seen it haven’t we? The sun burst through a small break in the clouds. Often only lasting for a few minutes, then it goes dark again.
For some people that is what life in general is like. Bright happy moments in an otherwise difficult, dark life.
I want to suggest to you today that God breaks through into our lives sometimes like that. He breaks through to show us His plans and His will.
I recently preached about getting alongside God.
Not expecting Him to get alongside us. But the question is, how? And as we work towards the answers we need to see how God breaks through to convey His will.
I have put it under three headings and want to expand it from today’s readings:
1) God breaks through sometimes Dramatically
2) God breaks through often gradually.
3) God has broken through permanently.
1) God breaks through Dramatically.
This is seen in our gospel reading about the Transfiguration. But it was not the first time it had happened.
As we open our Bibles to the record of creation in Genesis we read, 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Dark, formless, empty, then the shaft of light broke through. Daylight had come to the world. From that light came life and being. But not life as God wanted it to be.
The clouds of sin and evil soon covered the skies. They could not block Gods light completely, but they did enough to form a cloud cover that would prevent God from directly interfacing with the creation He had formed.
Throughout Israel’s history as we will see later, there came some gradual breakthroughs sometimes cumulating in a beam of light through the clouds, but nothing dramatic occurred for thousands of years, until...
A bright star appeared in the dark sky lighting up the way for a promised breakthrough, and then God broke through the clouds and sent to earth the Light of the Word, Jesus Christ.
John’s gospel says, ‘The light shines in the darkness. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.’
Showing us that He had a glorious plan for our future - salvation, forgiveness and eternal life. Although this was Gods greatest breakthrough of all, few witnessed it and fewer believed it.
God confirmed it at Jesus baptism where Matthew tells us ‘As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”’
There was further confirmation in our reading about the Transfiguration where we read that a cloud appeared over the bright scene and then it says, 7 Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”
This breaking of the light of God through the clouds was for the disciples benefit. Peter writing about it later says ‘You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. (2Peter 1:19)
Through Jesus God broke through the clouds of the world’s darkness to hold out the hand of friendship, love and salvation for those who would accept it. He showed and implemented His plans for salvation.
God broke through dramatically by sending Jesus.
2) God breaks through Gradually.
At times as we have seen God breaks through dramatically.
But sometimes His breakthrough is less dramatic except perhaps in people’s personal experience.
There are many OT examples of this; we read one this morning. The story of Elisha being taken up into heaven and Elijah taking his place. There was a gradual breakthrough for Elijah as he followed Elisha from place to place, learning about him and learning about God. Then for Elijah the tremendous breakthrough experience of seeing Elisha taken up in the chariot of fire.