What Just Happened?!
Updated: Apr 7, 2020
Verse 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.
If there had been any doubt in Peter, James and John's mind before this moment it would have vanished at this sight. But Peter still isn't thinking in the way of the cross. At seeing transfigured figures of Moses, Elijah and Jesus talking, Peter can't help his impulsive self from asking if they should erect three shelters, one for each of them, so the event could be memorialized. It was like the discussion of suffering slipped from his head and thoughts of glory returned.
God reminds them who they are following as He covers the three figures with a bright cloud reminiscent of the cloud Moses was seen going into on the mountain in the desert. Then God speaks from the cloud saying that Jesus is His Son, with whom He is pleased and that they needed to listen to Him.
What was their response? They did what most did when encountering the Father, they fell on their faces, terrified. Terrified? Why not? They were encountering the very One that had created the entire universe. But then they felt a familiar touch and heard a very familiar voice tell them to get and to not be afraid. They have heard Him say that before! When they look up they see only Him but they would never forget this moment.
They didn't stay up there dwelling on what they had just witnessed. Jesus tells them that they are not to tell anyone what they have just seen until after He raises from the dead. They didn't have to keep this a secret forever but they did for a couple of weeks.
They do have a question though. How can this really be happening since the teachers of the law said that Elijah had to come first. Here they were, still trying to make sense of ways Jesus' teaching and the teachers of the law could both be right. But Jesus didn't chide them, instead He shows them that the sign of Elijah had come and gone without notice, the man had even suffered like Jesus, Himself, soon will. They understood knowing He meant John, the Baptist.
Following in the way of the cross was about to get real for these men.
Making it personal
Have you ever took the time to imagine what it would have been like to see the transfiguration? Would God showing up in a glowing cloud bring a similar response for you? Have you ever encountered God in a personal way? Did it change you?
Can you imagine what this scene would have looked like? Try drawing or creating a picture using craft supplies to show what you think it looked like.
Father, thank You for the times You make Yourself real to us. Please help us know You better so we can serve You better. We want to follow You in the way of the cross. In Jesus' name, amen.