Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
The Feast of Transfiguration.
Verses 22-24; “ But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,------(24)to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaking that speaks better things than that of Abel”.
This text is a contrast between the old law of covenant and the new law of grace. But it is not a contrast, it is a fore-shadow of the fulfillment of the law. The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin roots trans- (“across”) and figura (“form, shape”). It thus signifies a change of form or appearance. This is what happened to Jesus in the event known as the Transfiguration: His appearance changed and became glorious. We can’t understand this text completely without study the text in Luke 9:28-36, the mountain top experience of Jesus along with his disciples, Peter, John and James.
Luke mentions several details about the event that the other evangelists do not:
He notes that this happened while Jesus was praying.
He mentions that Peter and his companions “were heavy with sleep, and when they wakened they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.”
He mentions that Peter made his suggestion to put up booths as Moses and Elijah were departing.
Transfiguration is not some marginal event in the life of Christ. It reveals both Jesus’ identity and God’s plan for us through the redemptive act of Jesus. Let us look in the mysterious incident at the mount of Transfiguration. We can’t comprehend the full meaning and purpose of the transfiguration, but we know there is some mystical meaning and experience is revealing to the humanity. Jesus had gone to the mountain top for prayer and seek the approval of God for the decisive step he was about to take. Mosses and Elijah appeared to them. Mosses was the great law giver and the leader of the Israelites. Elijah was the greatest of the prophets.
The fact that these two figures “spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem” illustrates that the Law and the Prophets point forward to the Messiah and his sufferings. This foreshadows Jesus' own explanation, on the road to Emmaus, of the Scriptures pointing to himself (cf. Luke 24:27, 32).
Jesus was praying on a mountaintop. Suddenly, Jesus changes: face changed / clothes shone. He was transformed. The transfiguration or transformation of Jesus is very reminiscent of the story in the OT about Moses when he came down from Mount Horeb or Mt. Sinai after talking with God. His face shone so brightly he had to cover it to keep from frightening the people. Peter sees this “changed,” transformed or transfigured Jesus and wants this experience to last for awhile. Christ Jesus calls us to be transformed by the power of his love and the presence of the Holy Spirit not just for one hour on Sunday; but, also at home, with friends, with family and with one another at work or in our neighborhood, and in all our interactions with other people.
They may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life, to help strengthen us on the road that will — ultimately — bring us into the infinite and endless joy of heaven.
Dear heavenly father, fill us with thy radiating light and courage to carry out the good news to this world and transform the life of our fellow beings. O Lord, continue to enable and strengthen us to shine our light before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Thought for the Day
The consuming fire of God of the old covenant transformed in to the compassionate loving Christ of grace.
P. T. Mathew, M.T.C. Dallas Farmers Branch. Texas