February 26, 2006
INTRODUCTION: The season of Epiphany draws to a close with the Transfiguration of Jesus. In three days we will gather together again as we begin the discipline of Lent. For what reason was Jesus’ glorious Transfiguration? Jesus was transfigured for the comfort of His followers.
Jesus was revealed in glory for the comfort of His followers.
I. The transfiguration was for the disciples’ benefit.
A. Notice that the focus is upon Jesus’ disciples. ”And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them;” - Mark 9:2
“And Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus” - Mark 9:4
“Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ’This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!’” - Mark 9:7
B. The disciples usually missed the point, not catching the implications of what Jesus said and did. This is a special lesson for them. Now they know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus has come for the salvation of the world.
Transition: That was then – this is now! What would Christ’s Transfiguration say to us today?
II. The Transfiguration benefits us today.
A. It prepares us for the season of Lent. “Jesus is God and Man” is nothing new but is the presupposition behind all He did. As God, He forgives the sins of men. As man He bears those sins in His own body.
B. It prepares us for Easter. “And as they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from the dead.” – Mark 9:9 The Man who is also God cannot stay dead. In the Transfiguration, we also get an idea of what a glorified body is like.
C. It prepares us for Judgment Day. It shows us the glory with which Jesus will return. As we anticipate Christ’s return we need not fear. We are reminded in Vs. 6 that the disciples were terrified. “For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified.” Having seen what Christ will do at the cross and empty tomb we need not fear Christ’s return in glory.
D. It prepares us form living until then, focusing our attention of God as He has revealed Himself in His Son, Jesus Christ our Savior. Again, listen to Vs.7: “Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” The rooster, the nails, the crown of thorns now takes on renewed meaning. Now we see Christ in all of His glory; glory now revealed, glory to be revealed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
CONCLUSION: Jesus told His disciples to keep this whole matter quiet until His resurrection. Vs.9 “And as they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man should rise from the dead.”
He has risen! Now is the time for us to tell others about Him, knowing we are telling the Good News concerning Jesus the Christ.