Transfiguration March 2, 2014

Exodus 24:12-18        Psalm 99        Matthew 17:1-9        2 Peter 1:16-21

There are times in life when we need some reassurance.  Sometimes we men ask God for that reassurance before we marry our beautiful brides.  Sometimes as we are heading off to college, we need a bit of reassurance as we are embarking on a new path. And sometimes we need a bit of reassurance when change is happening in our lives.

For the Israelites, and at a minimum Moses, having received the Ten Commandments, there is a need for God’s reassurance.  The Israelites are becoming a nation.  Thanks to Jethro, Moses is becoming a better leader.  And God is continuing to show the Israelites how to live and worship.  He does this by coming in his glory to Moses.

For the disciples, they have recently heard that Jesus will die a horrible death, and that soon.  As they continue to follow Jesus, there is a need for reassurance.  And God speaks to them in a cloud.  This reassurance reminds them who Jesus is and what they are to do.

For the early church, Peter’s impending death was a shock.  To reassure the church about the truth of his testimony, he reminds them of the reassurance that he received while on the mountain with Jesus.  God’s glory was revealed and remembered so that the church could live out the prophetic message of entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

  1. The glory of the Lord revealed how Israel was to live & worship(Exodus 24:12-18)
    1. The leaders were to meet God on the mountain
    2. Moses, along with Joshua, were to receive the commandments
    3. The rest of the people were to wait – they didn’t! They made a golden calf (Ex. 32)
    4. The glory of the Lord was on the mountain
    5. Moses went into the cloud
      1. Under God’s  feet was a pavement like sapphire (24:10)
      2. The cloud was there 6 days before Moses entered it
      3. The appearance of God was like a devouring fire (24:17)
      4. He was with God in the cloud for 40 days!
  2. Moses spent time with the Lord on the mountain.  It was not just for Moses’ personal edification.  He was to instruct the people after spending time with God.  Chapters 25-31 are all that Moses was to teach Israel.  Moses spent time with God.  It was the presence of God that created the cloud.  Yet, we know from Numbers 14:21, the glory of the Lord is going to fill the earth!  We have to be prepared to have the glory of the Lord around us.  This preparation is a slow process.  It took until Jesus’ time on earth for more preparation to occur.

 

  1. The glory of the Lord reminded the disciples who Jesus is (Matthew 17:1-9)
    1. It 6 days after hearing about denying self
    2. Jesus’ inner circle (Peter, James, & John) go with him
    3. Something’s about Jesus changed
      1. Metamorphose, change in appearance, transformed
      2. Was Jesus’ glory revealed?
      3. His face – shone (Moses’ face shone – Exodus 34:29)
      4. Jesus’ clothes – dazzling white (We become white as snow because God forgives us (Isaiah 1:18)
  2. Moses & Elijah – great law-giver & great prophet
  3. Peter does not know what to say or do
  4. The voice from the cloud – “This is my son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
  5. Jesus tells his inner circle
    1. Do not be afraid
    2.  Don’t say anything until the Son of Man is raised from the dead
  6. Jesus knew where he was going.  His disciples needed reassurance.  There is nothing like the glory of the Lord, the presence of God, to give that reassurance.  Hearing that they need to listen to Jesus and to not be afraid is important.  For it is with the raising of the Son of Man from the dead that allows people to enter the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Jesus started his ministry by saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near (4:17).  The glory of God appearing to Jesus & his inner circle was a way of showing that kingdom being revealed and taking over this world.  By looking back at this event, we get reminded what we are to be about.

 

  1. The glory of the Lord reminds us of the prophetic message of entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:16-21)
    1. It is not a myth or theory
    2. There were witnesses to the revealing of Jesus’ majesty
    3. Pay attention to this!
      1. Pay attention to what God has done
      2. The morning star is going to rise in your hearts (Jesus will be here!)
  2. The eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is coming to this world
  3. The Lord has let us know that his glory/presence is coming to this world.  When He does come, all people need to be ready.  So, we do repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!  Just like Peter and the other witnesses saw Jesus’ glory, we will get to do the same, if we are ready.

The transfiguration of Jesus is important.  We can realize that what God started with Israel will be true for the entire world.  That’s right the glory of the Lord was upon the mountain so that Israel could be instructed on how to live in the presence of God.

The glory of the Lord was upon the mountain so that the disciples could be reminded and reassured that listening to Jesus would help them.  And now we also know that we are to be ready to live in the presence of God, in Jesus’ kingdom.  Listen to Jesus – be ready.  For God’s glory will be known when we enter the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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