Sunday, February 26, 2017

Shining transformation

The Transfiguration - Artist unknown
The Transfiguration - Artist unknown
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 17:1-13

“And He was transfigured before them, His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:2

During His time on earth Jesus occasionally gave His disciples glimpses of heavenly reality. His transfiguration was one of those times.

It started as another simple mountain getaway for Jesus, Peter, James, and John. The Luke account tells us this incident began unspectacularly enough with Jesus praying. But then--wow! “As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered and His robe became white and glistening” Luke 9:29. And Old Testament characters appeared and talked with Him.

“The appearance of Moses and Elijah would have confirmed Jesus’ Messianic identity to the inner circle of disciples. The entire scene was reminiscent of Mount Sinai: the cloud, the light, and the presence of God’s voice - Exodus 19:16-19” - NIV First Century Study Bible.

Indeed! And in that Sinai period, we find more details that resonate here.
- Remember the leadership retreat we read about several day ago, where God showed up in glory - Exodus 24:10,17.
- Then later, Moses’ face shone when he came down from communing with God on the mountain - Exodus 34:30-35.

During Jesus’ lifetime we have this display of glory here at His transfiguration and again at His resurrection - Matthew 28:3.

I love how Paul pulls these threads together to make an application for our lives as Christians. In 2 Corinthians 3, referring to the glory on display at the giving of the law (which he calls “the ministry of death”) Paul argues that the ministry of the Spirit is much more glorious - 2 Corinthians 3:7,8. He ends his treatise on Christ’s glory and how it exceeds the glory of the law with an inspiring declaration:

But we all with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” - 2 Corinthians 3:18 (emphasis added).

May we cooperate with the Spirit to effect such heavenly transformation in us!

Dear Jesus, thank You for these glimpses of Your glory in the Bible, May Your indwelling Spirit transform me so that I reflect Your shining presence. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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