Transfiguration: An Otherworldy Peek at the Messiah

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Long ago, on the slopes of the highest mountain in Israel, Jesus led a small group of followers to an isolated grove and then, in front of their eyes,  from a flesh and blood man into a being shining white as the sun.

Then Moses appears…spokesperson for the redeemed who entered the kingdom through death.

Spokesperson for the Law.

Then Elijah appears…spokesperson for the redeemed who entered the kingdom through translation.

Spokesperson for the Prophets.

Moses and Elijah talk with Jesus. The subject: his coming death. An event that would conquer–not political oppression or military occupation–but sin and death.

An event that would secure the redemption of mankind. An event that would anchor the gospel entrusted to you and I.

The Climax to Messianic Revelations

The Transfiguration is the final, climactic earthly revelation of Jesus as Messiah before his crucifixion.

Remember, the tension on his messianic revelation was building as he cast out demonsconquered storms and cured the paralytic.

As his family rejected him. And rough, impetuous followers embraced him.

The Transfiguration and Our Wicked Hearts

Of course it’s an event our corrupt natures crave. In this scene, God overshadows these sinful, unglorified men and they naturally want to stay there. Forever.

And so would we.

The disciples response to this unusual appearance of God was typical of man since he sinned in the garden: They did a face plant in fear.

I’m confident I would, too.

But here’s what you need to know: For a moment Jesus is no longer the suffering servant. He is the king arrayed in his splendor. He’s given the disciples–and us–a peek at the otherworldly nature of his glorified state.

Where You Could Go Wrong

Yet we would be wrong to look for a heaven here upon a corrupt earth. To demand a repeat of this extraordinary event every month, week or day.

Just like Peter and the disciples, we have important work to do: Bring Christ to the suffering and the sinful. Preach the gospel. In the very ordinary, very dirty business of life.

Home. Church. Work. Subdivision. Mall.

The people in these very ordinary, very dirty places all need the message we carry. That means WE’VE been redeemed for a point. Saved so we can .

We weren’t meant to hunker down in our redemption, hoard our salvation or map out our rapture in private.

We were meant to crawl out of the trenches and engage–in mercy and grace–the enemies of our king.

**Part of The Messiah: Eleven Meditations from the Book of Mark series.** You can start reading a PDF version of  right now.

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