Countdown to Christmas 2020: they were talking together

Before going into Jerusalem to be crucified, Jesus took James, John and Peter up a mountain and something wonderful happened. The transfiguration of Christ.

as he was praying, Jesus’ face was altered, his clothing became dazzling white, and two other men appeared and were talking to him about his departure and what he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. Luke 9:28-36 NIV

The disciples recognized the two men as Elijah and Moses. Peter, James and John were naturally astonished by the scene and suggested they build a monument to honor all three men. At which, Moses and Elijah disappear and God’s voice is heard from heaven saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One, listen to Him! Luke 9:35 NIV

Two times we hear God’s voice from heaven speak directly about Jesus. At his baptism, the voice declared, This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased (Matthew 3:17 NIV). And now God tells the disciples directly, this is my Son…listen to him!

Previously when I read this passage, I focused on God’s interruption directing attention to Jesus. No doubt, the voice of God affirms Jesus’ deity. But the thing which astounds me this morning are the simple words, they were talking together...

As Jesus prayed, his physical appearance transformed to his true form, his glorious form. And the two men—thought to be dead or at least taken to heaven—stood with Jesus talking! What were they talking about?

That which Jesus was about to accomplish in Jerusalem. 

Moses and Elijah, prophets long gone, appear and have a conversation about an event which is about to take place in our timeline. They are not dead. They are aware of what is about to happen in Jerusalem. Amazing!

I love this. I am a science fiction fan. But unlike Star Trek and Star Wars and even C. S. Lewis’ space trilogy, this event actually happened. And the wonderful truth depicted is that after death there is life! There is awareness! What a comfort—especially as the disciples were about to witness Jesus’ horrible conviction, torture, and crucifixion.

The cross of Christ, the death and resurrection of Jesus in history, makes the transformation of our lives possible (and apparently it isn’t affected by our timeline). If Jesus had not paid the price of our disobedience with his perfect life and sacrificial death, we would have no hope of a future life. Death is the judgment for disobedience or sin.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV

As unfathomable as it may seem to you today, when we pray, we speak to a glorified Jesus, just like Elijah and Moses on the mount of transfiguration.  And one day, we will converse with him face to face!

One more day till we celebrate our amazing Savior’s birthday.

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