August 16, 2020
The Transfiguration (because we missed it and it's important!-- Luke 9:23-36)
A principle feast day of the church (Easter Day, Ascension, Pentecost, Trinity, Holy Name, the Presentation) (page 16 of the Book of Common Prayer).
Peter, James, and John go to a mountain with Jesus to pray. Is there something special going on? He took those who were closest to Him with Him.
They are all a little surprised, amazed and maybe even frightened when Jesus begins to shine with a very bright ray of light.
Then the prophets appear, Moses and Elijah, and they are talking to Jesus. Jesus is called "Son" by a voice from the sky. "This is my son, my chosen, listen to Him." It is the same experience as at His Baptism. It is assumed to be from God the Father.
His Cross has become known to us as the door by which every member of the human race can enter into the life of God.
By His Resurrection He has the right to give eternal life to any person--and by His Ascension Jesus keeps the door of heaven open for all humanity.
If Jesus had gone to heaven from the Mount of Transfiguration He would have gone alone. Jesus would be nothing more than a wonderful memory.
But He turned His back on the glory that was waiting for Him, and came down from the mountain to identify with fallen humanity.
The setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God. I tis the meeting place of life on earth and eternal life with God. Jesus is the connecting point.
Jesus is the bridge between heaven and earth.
It is also a major connection between the OT and the NT. Malachi 4:5-6 prophesied that when Elijah did not die but rose bodily to heaven and he would also return so that we could hold out hope for repentance before the final judgment. And here he is--talking to Jesus on the mountain.
Elijah did return and fulfill the prophecy of Malachi.
When Jesus goes back to heaven at His ascension He does not go back just as the Son of God. He is also now the Son of Man and He is sitting at the throne of God as the Son of Man. There is freedom for us to go to be with Him.
As the Son of Man Jesus Christ has all the power of the throne of God.
He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords from the day of His ascension until now.