The Word for today:
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. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!" (from Mark 9:2-7)
Note: The Transfiguration of Jesus is crucial to overall biblical understanding. Indeed, it is so significant that we urge the reader to click here first, where we concentrated on the Transfiguration’s central character and its most significant truths.
Our article for today, found below, will focus on the supporting actors in the scene. It is meant to be only a supplement to the article we linked to, above.
The Transfiguration is so cinematically stunning and so spiritually significant that we forget how strange it is.
Visually, the Shekinah glory (which hadn’t been seen for 600 years) shows up to engulf the characters in glory (or in light or in whatever Shekinah is.) Then, audibly and majestically, the voice of God proclaims the three most important words in any language:
“Listen to Him!”
Meanwhile, we almost forget that standing there as witnesses to all of this are none other than Moses and Elijah.
You remember them, right? They merely personify “the Law and the Prophets” (which was shorthand for the entire Bible at that time.)
They were graphic confirmation of Peter’s confession (Mark 8:29) that Jesus was the Messiah—that he was the fulfillment of everything toward which the law pointed. He fulfilled what the sacrificial system (the heart of the Mosaic Law) was teaching. He fulfilled every messianic prophecy.
There they were, carrying on a conversation with Jesus, who had previously said,
“Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17)
A fulfillment which he explained, in detail, on the Road to Emmaus:
He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
The Law and the Prophets were preliminary and partial. Their purpose was to point to Him. The first words of the book of Hebrews say it this way:
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
“Listen to Him!” Those three words are the best advice my Father ever gave me. As a son, I hope to heed His advice. As a father, I hope to pass it along.