One day, Jesus sat down with his followers to let them in on some heavy news. He was going to die. The Messiah dead. That didn’t seem like good news to these faithful followers. They had already been with Jesus through thick and thin and the weight of his words weighed them down. They had come to believe he was the Messiah but how could the Messiah say he was going to die and still accomplish setting free God’s people? It sounded much more like words of defeat than words of victory. They would have a long week ahead of them living in the shadow of these dark words.
After a week had passed, Jesus decided to take Peter, James, and John up on a mountain to pray. He was taking his inner circle with him because something life changing was about to happen. They began heading up the mountain to pray and as darkness fell, the disciples began to drift off in slumber from their prayers. Jesus continued to pray, and as Jesus was praying his face shined like the sun and his clothes flashed like lightning.
This woke the disciples from their sleep. They didn’t know it yet but they were about to be standing on sacred ground. Heaven was about to overlap earth and what they would see and hear would change their lives forever. They awoke to see Jesus standing with Moses and Elijah. Moses was a representative of the Law and Elijah was a representative of the Prophets. Jesus himself was the culmination of the Law and Prophets, tying together what would be a New Covenant in the near future. The disciples were shocked as they began listening in on the conversation happening.
Jesus was discussing with Moses and Elijah his exodus from this world. He had come into this world as light and now he was preparing to leave this world under the cover of darkness to bring new life. The time had come for Jesus to begin preparing for his death. Jesus predicting his own death was no longer crazy talk. It was the reality. They didn’t know how God was going to save his people through the death of the Messiah but there was one thing they knew to be true. Jesus truly was the Son of God.
The disciples still scared, didn’t tell anyone anytime soon what they had seen. They had heard God himself speak. They saw Moses and Elijah in their glorified bodies. They had seen something in history no other human would see. It was an affirmation that Jesus was God’s Son and despite the fear they were in, they could find some peace in that. The greatest love is from the one willing to lay down their life for their friends. The even greater love is Jesus laying down his life for the world knowing just what sort of death was ahead of him. Words Jesus told his disciples just a week earlier–if you want to be my follower, you must take up your cross daily, and follow me–had suddenly taken on new meaning.
Retelling from Luke 9:28–45.