.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

www.bibletruthonline.com BLOG ZONE

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Luke 9:28b-36 (Sermon for the week of March 5th)

Lk 9:28b-36

Jesus took Peter, John, and James
and went up the mountain to pray.
While he was praying his face changed in appearance
and his clothing became dazzling white.
And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,
who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus
that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.
Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep,
but becoming fully awake,
they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.
As they were about to part from him, Peter said to Jesus,
“Master, it is good that we are here;
let us make three tents,
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But he did not know what he was saying.
While he was still speaking,
a cloud came and cast a shadow over them,
and they became frightened when they entered the cloud.
Then from the cloud came a voice that said,
“This is my chosen Son; listen to him.”
After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.
They fell silent and did not at that time
tell anyone what they had seen.

This week we read about the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is an event that mankind has not seen since Moses. We will talk about that in a bit. One must come to answer the question if this event happened or not. If it didn't happen then the Gospels and/or Jesus is a fraud. If it did happen, then indeed Jesus is the Son of God just as the "Voice" said. This event was supernatural. Notice that there are two other people present. Moses and Elijah. Why are these two individuals present? Moses was told that he would enter the Promised Land. However, he never did enter the Promised Land...he was allowed only to see it.
Let's read
Deuteronomy 34:4-5:
4 Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." 5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said.

But earlier God PROMISES Moses:
Exodus 6:7-8
7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "

So, what's the deal here? God promises something and then doesn't follow through. Well, the answer is no. God is not a liar and He does what He says! His ways are not always clear to us, but God still does what He promises. Where is the Mt. of Transfiguration? IT IS in the Promised Land! God has indeed led Moses into the Promised Land to stand besides the One who talked to Moses. Jesus is the One who promised Moses, and Jesus follows through!

Now why is Elijah present here? Remember the prophecy:
Malachi 4:4-5

"Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.

The dreadful day of the Lord is Jesus' crucifixion. (In the future Elijah will also reappear again at the Second Coming.) And the Transfiguration is BEFORE the crucifixion. Indeed the prophecy comes true...Elijah has reappeared! Prophecy has several layers of truth. Elijah has reappeared here, Elijah has not died here, so that means Elijah will appear again. This prophecy has two meanings...

One more statement about Moses and Elijah...Israel are the people of the Law and of the Prophets, and Moses was the great law giver and Elijah was the great prophet.

Why the Transfiguration? The Jews have their own personal and very human expectations of what the Messiah will do. They interpret prophecy in order to justify what they think the Messiah will do FOR THEM. Jesus did not come to save the Jews...they had their chance...many times. Jesus came to be the Messiah for the whole world and not a small population of Jews who frankly have trampled on the Laws of God. The Law did not work for them and it does not work for us. Jesus, the Creator, came here as a once and for all solution for the ongoing dilemma of mankind. This solution was the result of His sacrifice. The Universe cannot give the Creator His life back, and this world owes Jesus His life back. The Apostles realized that they were standing before the Creator and could not understand why Jesus had to die. The Transfiguration gave the "inner circle"; Peter, James, and John a very small glimpse of the glory of God. There were no doubts after this events as to the awesome power of God. Moses received a similar glimpse of God. Let's look at the parallel between The Creator speaking to Moses and Moses with Jesus on the Mt. of Transfiguration:
In verse 29 of this weeks reading it says: "And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white".
Moses encountered God on Mt. Sinai as a "devouring fire on the top of a mountain" (Exodus 24:17) and Moses' face shone brightly "because he had been talking with God". Moses' face shone so brightly that he had to wear a veil to shield people from the glare his face emitted (Exodus 34:25-29). Exodus 24 and Jesus at the Transfiguration have a few parallels: they both occur on a mountain, involve Moses, have God speaking from a cloud, speak of the glory of the Lord, and inspire fear. Also in Exodus 24:13 Joshua is singled out and taken up the mountain with Moses. The name Joshua in Greek is "Jesus"... and we see Jesus and Moses again together at the Transfiguration. Notice that the "glory of God" seen by Moses is different. Moses looked at the backside of God's face and glowed. Moses' face mirrored the glory and the Transfiguration has this glory coming from Jesus Himself. The word "glory" is used in the Bible to speak of various supernatural events--but it is used especially to speak of God's glory--an aura associated with God's appearance that reveals God's majesty to humans. When Moses asked to see God's glory, God replied, "You cannot see my face; for no one can see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). God continued and said "See there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock; and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft in the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by, then I will take away my hand and you shall see my back; but my face shall not be seen" (Exodus 33:21-23). The point is that God's glory is so overwhelming that we cannot deal with it. It would be like touching a high voltage power line...we die. Peter, James, and John were privileged to see Christ's glory on the Mount of Transfiguration...there will be hard events to watch the Lord go through shortly.

Notice that Peter asks if he should build three booths for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. There is a prophetic meaning to this that I think Peter didn't even know. We cover this in another paper we wrote on our website. The booths are connected with Moses. As Moses led the Israelites in the wilderness, God told him to build booths in which people would dwell for seven days (Leviticus 23:33-43). They were to do this "so that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel live in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt; I AM the Lord your God" (Leviticus 23:43). This observance is known as the Feast of the Tabernacles and started as a harvest festival but became to be a remembrance of their wanderings in the wilderness and their escape from slavery in Egypt.

In the reading we also read "and they were terrified as they entered the cloud" (verse 34). The disciples are terrified because they understand the cloud as the presence of God. Only the High Priest is allowed to come into God's presence and he does so only on the Day of Atonement (Hebrews 9:7). To look at God is to die. These disciples do not know if they shall die...whatever the outcome they are unprepared to meet their Maker. They are vulnerable and have been suddenly presented without warning with the presence of God. Who wouldn't be terrified?

The last part of the reading is: "This is my Son, my Chosen: listen to Him" (v.35). Indeed! We must study and come to truly understand all of the Words of Jesus! They have been recorded for us through immense effort by God and are the actual lessons taught by the Creator, our Messiah. If there is any reason to read any work...it is the Bible. We need to reinvest our time into intently studying the Gospels and work hard even if it takes a lifetime to fully understand everything Jesus has presented us through the writings of His disciples. Jesus speaks on several levels and we may often not understand what it means. But faith comes by the word of God, and our faith in strengthened through understanding the Word of God. We do not want to "err for you do not know the Scriptures". Jesus came, Jesus said, and Jesus died...we must know why and what it means to us individually.

God bless!


Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home