|Raphael's The Transfiguration|
Jesus became dazzling white not by some trick or figment of imagination because Mark's Gospel records that he was whiter and brighter than any bleach could have made him. His brilliance shone from the inside out. He displayed the glory that he had from the beginning. "From the Father full of grace and truth."
Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with Him of his departure, which was a subtle way to say they were talking about His death. First, Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the Prophets respectively. Both Moses and Elijah confirm here Jesus as the fulfilment of the law, and as the greatest prophet. He is the most excellent prophet and fulfillment of the law through wonderful and humble departure on the cross. They were most likely discussing with Jesus how his departure would fulfill the righteous requirements of the law. Moses presence at the transfiguration validated that. From Elijah's perspective Jesus death would also confirm the fulfillment of every Biblical prophecy. Jesus is God's prophetic utterance. Jesus Himself said the Law and the Prophets speak of Him
Being the middle of the night probably Peter James and John were heavy with sleep. Probably because of the Brilliance of Christ are they rudely awakened. Have you ever been rudely awakened? I always loved waking my dad up from a nap he would always wake up with the most surprised face and would always say "Huh What Huh? It was hilarious. In general we are pretty hilarious when woken up in th middle of the night. We are usually just not logical until we are fully awake. Just like Peter I'm also not the sharpest tool in the shed right when I'm woken up in the middle of the night. Peter is woken up and cannot believe what he is seeing And his thoughts are a little bit disoriented. He says they should build tents for all three of them. Even the text is kind of like "uh Peter didn't know what he was saying...it was waaaaayyyy to early in the morning!" poor guy he is just trying to in his own way honour Jesus, and it is hilarious.
God the father's shekina Glory overshadowed them in a cloud and they were afraid...this was the usual response from Biblical characters as they encountered the presence of God (Isaiah, Zechariah, shepherds (sore afraid), Adam and Eve in the garden). Why are (should) we sinners be afraid in the presence of a Holy God? Just for that very reason we sinners know that to be in the presence of a holy God would require one of us to die, and it's not going to be Him. Even though they had every right to be afraid Jesus says in the glory cloud "fear not!" And why mustn't we fear any longer? Jesus is the go between, the mediator, our great advocate before a holy God that is why we can boldly come before the throne of grace where we can find mercy in our time of need. Jesus our mediator intercedes for us in the glory cloud of God's holy presence and therefore we must not fear!
Out of the cloud God the Father speaks and says "This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!" And directly thereafter Jesus was there standing alone. All that was said was all that needed to be said. God needed no big long sermon or discourse. Jesus is His sermon to us! Jesus is the full embodiment of the Father's discourse that is why he says "listen to him." Jesus is confirmed as God's Son the chosen Messiah the prophet, priest, and King. God confirms that everything Jesus says is from me so listen to Him. You have heard the truth when you hear Jesus words and the implication is not just to listen to what he says, but to do what he says. How can we obey Jesus if we know not what he said? We must know what he has commanded and said before we can take any steps of obedience. Have you made it your life's ambition to know the voice of the Good Shepherd? It is never too late to start. Crack open your Bible and listen to His voice!
Most current "manifestations" of Gods presence in recent years seem to have not been quietly treasured, but rather loudly braggadociosly proclaimed from the hilltops. You might even find a YouTube clip or two of Glory clouds, gold dust, or other bizarre manifestations of "God's presence." What happened to a humble quiet experience of God's fearful presence like the Sons of Thunder experienced? It seems that it might have been hard for Peter, James, or John to hold a cell phone to record this awesome event, because they were probably on the ground facedown. Until Jesus put his hand on their shoulders and said "fear not" would they have dared to look. You certainly see their fear and homage after the fact in that they dared not speak of or spread any news of this holy encounter before it was recorded in the Gospels. Where is our reverence for our encounters with the Holy God? It seems to be lost on this generation. The Holy Spirit does His finest most historic work were prying eyes cannot see. In creation he hovered over the waters, in the incarnation the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary, and in regeneration he transforms the heart of the Christian. We on the other hand want to bring the Holy Spirit up on stage and parade Him around like a gimmick before an amused audience for our own entertainment and euphoria. In reality the Holy Spirit works in the quiet subtle moves of the heart to point us to Jesus. That is what is happening here in this Holy encounter in the cloud. The Holy Spirit was illuminating and glorifying Jesus. The Holy Spirit appeared through Jesus so brilliantly that the glory shown from inside out not outside in. The Holy Spirit was and is the spotlight shining on the glory of the One being illuminated. Do we seek the manifestation, or the one being manifested? Are we more interested in the feeling of the presence, or are we more obsessed with the One to whom the presence belongs? Do we worship the the Son the 'chosen one' and all that He says, or do we want some radical experience that we can post on YouTube? These men kept this experience quiet and did what the Father said they "listened to him."
Of course these men were transformed by this event just as Jesus was transfigured right before their very eyes. When we gaze upon Him we also are transformed. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image (The Image of Jesus) from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
When God removes the veil from our eyes he transforms us into the likeness of Christ. To be transformed We must...
1. behold him in His glory
2. receive him in his departure (death)
3. obey Him for his words.
Will you behold His glory, receive His departure (death), and obey His words?
Let Him rise up as Lord in your heart. This song from My Epic is really hitting me lately I hope it hits yo too