The Transfiguration

28About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray. 29And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. 31They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

32Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him. 33As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorialsf—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 34But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them.

35Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One.g Listen to him.” 36When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Peter, James, and John get a glimpse into the glories of heaven. They were confused and amazed and speechless, except of course for Peter who would rather blurt out anything than be silent. But what did they really see?

It would be amazing to get a glimpse of Jesus, dazzling white (pure) and amazing, but that is what we would expect from Jesus.  But here, Moses and Elijah, both long ago taken from this world, are with Jesus, and they too are dazzling white. Moses and Elijah are sharing in Jesus’ glory and his purity, and based on the conversation, perhaps his mission and purpose in life. They all seem to be…part of it all.

Are we sensing a theme here?

Moses and Elijah certainly picked their cross, long before the cruel art of crucifixion was invented, and gave their lives to God. Now they shared in Jesus’ glory and purity and mission. Pretty good return on investment we would think, but of course you have to die to get the return!

But wait, while Moses was still on Earth his face would glow after his prayer time. And Elijah was swooped into heaven by a chariot of fire. I think the only “death” that matters to Jesus is the death of our own will when we give our life the Him. Of course, at least for me, that seems like a thousand deaths a day and I fail to die so many times. But each time I do die that death, even if I don’t see it or feel it, I bet I’m there with Jesus and Moses and Elijah and a heavenly host of those who are alive because they died, transformed and part of a real mission and real life we all share – and it is grand. 

Oh Holy Spirit, help me “die to self and only live by your most Holy Word.”

Isn’t it cool when you see that the “Grim Reaper” is just an old friend picking you up and taking you home?


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