Messiah part 3

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Luke 9 v 35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “this is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.”

Here is a question. Why does Luke include this account of the transfiguration of Christ on the mountain, at this point in his narrative?

If you look back to the previous verses you will see that in answer to Christ’s question, “who do the crowds say I am?” the answer was that the crowds thought he might be Elijah or one of the prophets.

But now in this new section which we have read today, the question of the real identity of Jesus is presented in an entirely new way. Two of Israel’s most famous prophets appear with him in their extraordinary moment, but he supersedes them both.

Probably the most obvious reason for this story at this point is for Luke to show his readers the real existence of the other world. Christ certainly can and has contact with both. In that world Moses and Elijah are obviously together, but when they were in this world they lived in different centuries. What’s more is that although Christ was still in this world, His person and his clothing took on the radiance of the glory of the other world.

All this would serve to encourage those who were to take up their cross and follow Jesus. All was not on vain. There really is another world.

It is also interesting to note what Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus about. Thy spoke of his “departure” or exodus (v31) from this world. That is they were talking about His death, which had not yet happened.

Remember that both Moses and Elijah, in their time, offered sacrifices to God for the people of Israel. But all their sacrifices were pointing forward to the one final sacrifice, which Christ himself would offer, of Himself for the sins of the world.

Now on the Mount of Transfiguration the three disciples were learning that the death that Christ told them about, which he was to experience, was a sacrifice. This sacrifice was known about before the world was created, and this sacrifice is talked about in that other world.

The death of Jesus was deliberately planned and was now to be deliberately fulfilled.

Does the Cross feature much in your thinking? Have you grasped the immensity of what Jesus has done for us? Ask God to help you to become cross-centred in your thinking and lifestyle.

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