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The Proof of Christ’s Person and Purpose–The Transfiguration part 2
The Gospel of Mark 9:1 to 13–part 2
What kind of big changes have occurred in your appearance? A very dramatic change occurred for me in 2005–I went from having a mustache for 28 years to no stash. I had a gray stripe in my mustache that I no longer wanted to mess with. Personal grooming is important, but not that important, so I shaved it off–did away with it, and I am glad to have it gone. My wife Jean, on the other hand, had never seen me without a stash. At first she panicked, then laughed, and finally accepted the change.
It was a dramatic change for me–but not that dramatic. Think about what a truly dramatic change might look like. My clothes have never suddenly glowed with so much light that it looked like I was wearing a billion lumen light bulb for an outfit. My face has never shone so bright it appeared as dazzling as a lightning strike. But that is exactly what Christ looked like when God the Father allowed the divine character of the God-man to shine through the veil of His humanity in Christ’s Transfiguration.
It was a radical, overwhelming, staggering metamorphosis that points to the deity of Christ and the sovereign plan of God. It highlights the pleasures of eternity, and the joys of Heaven. It shows us the perfect holiness of God, and causes us to actually come face to face with the awfulness of our sin. Again, open your Bibles to Mark chapter 9, and follow along with the outline in your bulletin, for you are about to witness the Transfiguration of Christ with three of His disciples.
In Mark 8, Christ is in the last year of His public ministry. It’s probably October, with the cross looming in April. And now Christ is being direct with His men about His person. Verse 29, ”You are the Christ”–Jesus is the promised Old Testament Messiah. Christ is also open about His passion, “I’m going to the cross.” Verse 31, “I will suffer and die and rise again.” And Christ will pointedly call His followers to pay a price. Verse 34, “deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Christ.”
So now in Mark chapter 9, Christ is going to prove it is all true. We know about Christ, the cross and the cost of following Him. But now we will experience the confirmation in Mark 9. We’re in the far north of Israel, on the side of 9,000 ft Mount Hermon. The Lord has taken His three closest disciples with Him to go pray, and in the midst of prayer, the Lord proves He’s God in the flesh, and that Christ’s mission to go to the cross is God’s predetermined plan. The Transfiguration is an undeniable proof of the person, passion and price Christ calls for us to pay–Christ, the cross and the cost are all confirmed on this mountain.
This morning, if you’re battling with some trial or relationship, then allow the Lord to remove any doubt of His total control. If you’re sadly distracted by everyday life, and need to see Christ in all His glory to restore your hope to keep living for Him, get ready. If you have let sin take root, then allow the character of Christ to expose sin’s ugliness and root it out of your life through repentance. If you need a look at what heaven is like, and want to rejoice in what God has in store for you, get ready for a sneak preview. And if you are here but don’t know Christ, then today get a clear picture of what it means to be a born again believer. God is about to show us who Jesus is. Look with me at point #1.
#1 Proofs of the Deity of Christ in the Transfiguration Verses 1 to 8
The Transfiguration contains three in-your-face events dogmatically proving Christ is God come in the flesh. The twelve disciples are confused–they’ve owned Christ being the promised Messiah, but they have not yet embraced Jesus being the God-man–nor have they accepted His mission to die in the place of His children. They’re still thinking the Messiah will deliver the nation from Rome, but don’t understand how Christ must deliver His people from their sin.
They don’t see Christ as the perfect sacrifice for sin, acceptable to God. Nor do they see Christ as the one who’ll be punished for our sin as our substitute. So in the plan of God, the Lord’s closest three disciples are asked to climb up a tall mountain with Jesus, and these three witnesses get to experience three great proofs of Christ’s deity—1) the Transfiguration of Christ, 2) a visit from Moses and Elijah, and 3) a verbal affirmation from God the Father.
And it all started with the promise of a preview. Look at verse 1, “And Jesus was saying to them, ‘Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.’” Jesus says some of these men are not going to die until they see Christ in all His Kingly majesty. Then verse 2, “Six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up on a high mountain by themselves.” The gospel of Matthew tells us they went up to pray, and the first thing that happens while they’re alone on this tall mountain was . . .
First Christ’s Divine Glory is on Display
Verse 2b, “And He was transfigured before them.” Jesus was transfigured–the Greek word is metemorphothe, where we get our English word for metamorphosis. It means to change in form–in some amazing way, God the Father pulled back the veil of Christ’s humanity to display some of His incredible divine glory to the three disciples. Second Peter 1:16 says they were “eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
The Lord underwent a dramatic change in appearance, so that the disciples could witness that Christ was much more than a man. How dramatic was it? Verse 3, “and His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” Mark tells us the divine glory emanating from Jesus made even His clothing radiate a brilliant white light. His clothing glowed–radiant means Jesus was literally emitting light, a brilliant light similar to lightning. The word white in verse 3 originally meant so bright it’s almost clear. Mark says this white is whiter than Clorox can whiten your clothes.
As a kid, how many of you stared at the sun at least once? Or can you remember the last time you had to drive into the sun? Matthew 17:3 says, “The Lord’s face shown like the sun.” Light is often used by biblical writers to describe God’s physical presence. Psalm 104:2, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak.” First Timothy 6:16, “Who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light.” And in our future, Revelation 21:23, “The city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.”
This supernatural lightning light is pointing to Christ as God. Jesus Christ is both God and man in one person without confusion. And at this moment, the Lord’s humble appearance as a man is shed so that what you see is His deity, His God-ness, His glory. God’s glory is all of who God is–it’s the summation of all His attributes. This is a massive display, and a proof that Christ is God.
Mark is trying to tell us in verse 3, Christ is the God of Heaven, and Christ is the God of eternity. Do you see it? Look at verse 3, “as no launderer [where?] on Earth can whiten them.” This is not like “on Earth,” this is like “from Heaven.” Christ’s garments were not produced on Earth by Oxi-Clean, but His clothing is the product of heavenly grandeur, because Christ is the King of Heaven, and Lord of eternity. We know Christ is God because first, His divine glory is on display.
Second Christ’s Eternal Friends Came to Discuss the Cross
Verse 4 is the second proof of Christ’s deity—“Elijah appeared to them along with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus.” Grab a hold of the shock of this moment. You are alone on a mountain, you are looking at Christ, your Teacher, Rabbi, Lord–the One who is the Messiah. But now you can’t look at Him directly because it’s like staring at the sun while lightning strikes all around you, as you’re being lit up by a billion lumen spotlight.
Then suddenly Moses and Elijah appear on the scene, and they begin talking with Jesus like old friends. Hold the phone–Elijah’s been dead for 900 years at this time, and Moses has been dead 1,400 years at this time. Yet they show up and have a long talk with Christ as if they’ve just talked the day before. Pointing to the fact that (among other things) Christ is eternal, along with the truth that Christ is intimate and personal with His children, along with the fact that Christ is all-knowing. This would happen and more.
In John 8:58 Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” Revelation 1:8 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Christ existed 1,400 years ago and knew Moses then, and He knows Moses now. Christ Jesus is eternal. Jesus, Moses and Elijah all appear glorious, yet somehow they know intrinsically and certainly, without a doubt, exactly who they are. There’re no photos of Moses, no Instagrams, nor a MO Facebook page, hashtag Lawman, or MO knows Law.
There is something about the glorified state that sees through the external and exterior to see and know the internal you. Moses represents the Law and Elijah represents the Prophets, covering the entire Old Testament, which foretold Christ’s death to come. Moses and Elijah are confirming Christ is the one who was promised to come in the Old Testament–He is the Messiah. He is God’s Son.
So these two begin talking with Jesus about His coming departure. Luke 9:31 tells us exactly that, “Who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Departure is literally the Greek term “exodus”–it means going out, departure, historically referring to Israel leaving Egypt, and euphemistically describes the end of your earthly life, your death. Peter uses the same Greek word here to refer to his own death in 2 Peter 1:15.
And Luke 9 says this death will be fulfilled in Jerusalem. Did you see it? Verse 31 says, “which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Accomplish, from “accomplish at Jerusalem” means fulfilled and completed. Christ will soon complete His earthly ministry by dying for our sins. He will suffer, die in the place of His chosen, then rise from the dead, pointing to the fact that Christ is sovereign–He’s in control.
This is all part of God’s predetermined plan–the cross is Christ’s mission, His passion, His purpose–to die for the sins of His own. Peter tells us the cross is God’s sovereign plan during His first sermon in Acts 2:23, “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” But the Transfiguration is not over yet. We know Christ is God because first, His divine glory is on display. Second, Christ’s eternal friends came to discuss the cross, and . . .
Third Christ’s Heavenly Father Audibly Commends His Son
The three witnesses are witless over what they’re seeing, shown by . . .
A. The Reaction of Peter and the Disciples
Verse 5 and 6, “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ 6 For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified.”
Why does Peter make this statement? He’s been listening to the conversation between Jesus, Moses and Elijah, and Luke tells us just as Moses and Elijah are about to depart, Peter speaks–why? Let me give you six possibilities why Peter talks.
1 He wants to prolong this event—“Don’t leave, I don‘t want this to stop.”
2 They are terrified over their own sin. Peter is overwhelmed with God’s glory and is terrified–the Greek terrified is used only one other time in the New Testament, in Hebrews 12:31, which is actually quoting Deuteronomy 9:19, describing Moses’ terror over God wanting to wipe out Israel from their sin with the golden calf. It could very well be that the three disciples are experiencing a terror over God’s wrath over their sinfulness.
Seeing God’s glory, and experiencing His holiness and the pure blinding light of His character–it seems to shoot right through you, exposing your sinfulness. The three disciples are literally frightened out of their senses, trembling, terrified. They froze in terror over their own sinfulness.
3 Peter heard the Lord and His glorified friends speak of an exodus, which recalls Israel’s exodus, and probably being October, it reminds Peter it’s the season of the Feast of Tabernacles where Israel would set up temporary structures to recall their wanderings in the wilderness. These homemade shacks were used to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles when the Israelites dwelt in booths for seven days, according to Leviticus 23. So with Peter’s build-a-booth suggestion, Peter might be trying to keep them around longer.
4 In the 1,000 year coming earthly kingdom, some past feasts and symbols of Christ’s work will continue as a reminder of the past, and Zechariah 14:16 tells us the Feast of Tabernacles will continue. “Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.” As a result, Peter might have been thinking, “This is it–the 1,000 year millennial kingdom has begun, so let’s set up our tabernacles!”
5 There is a slight possibility that again, Peter wants Jesus, Elijah and Moses to stay so Christ will not have to go to the cross and die, which is what they have just been discussing. Peter probably still wants Christ to stop making His death wish. And what else contributed to Peter talking here?
6 Peter speaks here because that’s what Peter does, he talks. There are times when we should be silent, shut up, remain silent and be in awe of what’s happening–this is one of those times. But Peter just has to talk. No one has asked Peter a question here. Peter has not been addressed here–but Peter is compelled to speak anyway.
Verses 5 and 6, “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 6 For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified.” Peter says “Rabbi”, (which is Master, my Great One)—“it is literally intrinsically good, excellent, or commendable for us to be here. Allow me to make three temporary shelters, one for each of you.”
These temporary shelters would be made out of sticks, bushes and rocks. As the leader of the three disciples, Peter was anxious to offer his service to these three awesome, glorified beings. The reality is, Peter made a hasty, no-thinking remark–verse 6, “For he did not know what to answer; for they became terrified.” Mark tells us, “he didn’t know what to say”–literally, he didn’t know what he should answer,” telling us Peter was perplexed.
Luke tells us Peter didn’t even know what he said–he’s so dazzled by the glory and so terrified by His own sin, Peter spoke foolishly. We know Peter is behind the writing of Mark, so in a real way, this is Peter’s apology. Peter’s saying, “I should not have said anything.” Peter and the other two disciples made some mistakes here.
#1 Peter spoke when he should have remained in silent awe.
#2 Peter is communicating the idea that these three glorified beings standing before them were all equal–three tents for the three of you . . . “one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” The reality is–ONE of them is the God who created Moses and Elijah. Two are glorified beings, one is glorified God. Moses and Elijah worship Jesus Christ as their Master. This is why, before Peter is even done speaking, he’s interrupted. That’s right, Matthew’s gospel tells us, “while Peter was still speaking.” I love it–Peter’s foolish comments are cut off by God the Father .
B. The Revelation from the Father
Verse 7, “Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” Peter’s suggestion is rightly dissed, and while he is still speaking, a bright cloud arrived and overshadowed them. Luke tells us the three were, in the Greek, phobia’d–super fearful again as the cloud arrived. Picture it–have you ever had a large shadow come up behind you and startle you? That’s what is happening here, except it’s not dark, but this cloud is a bright, glowing, glorious fog that is enveloping them in light. This has got to be the Shekinah–the glory cloud . . . the cloud which was the symbol of God’s presence throughout the Old Testament.
Like Exodus 13:21, “The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way.” Or Exodus 40:34 and 35, “Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Imagine being immersed in the visible glory of God–then to hear God’s voice come out of the cloud and say, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”
At Christ’s baptism, the Father commended His own Son. But here, God the Father does two things–He commends His Son to the disciples, then commands the three disciples to listen to Christ. Matthew and Luke tell us the full text of the Father’s revelation is in three parts—1) “This is my beloved Son”, 2 “in whom I am well pleased”, 3 “hear Him”. One scholar I read points out that each part of the Father’s statement, 1, 2, and 3 came from each of the three distinct divisions of the Old Testament—1) the Psalms in Psalm 2:7, 2) the Prophets in Isaiah 42:1, and 3) the Law in Deuteronomy 18:15, covering the entire Old Testament, again affirming Christ as the one the entire Old Testament is pointing to.
1) “This is my beloved Son”–look at Psalm 2:7, “He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”
2) “In whom I am well pleased”—look at Isaiah 42:1, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights.”
3) “Hear Him”–look at Deuteronomy 18:15, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him.” Even God the Father is affirming Christ as the One the entire Old Testament points to. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament–the promised Messiah. Jesus Christ is God. This is the third evidence of the deity of Christ. This is my beloved Son–Jesus is the same essence of Me. He is as I am. He comes from My essence. This is my beloved Son–we are One–He is loved and I delight in Him.
You already know the Trinity is the model for Christian marriage–distinct persons filling out unique roles, yet oneness and love. And this deep affection is the standard for all Christian relationships in the Church–distinct persons who serve each other with love, unity, even delight! It is one of the reasons FBC is my favorite church ever. So here God the Father commends God the Son, “This is My beloved Son,” then commands the three to hear Him–listen to Him. This is a continual action command setting forth the ongoing duty of not merely hearing, but obeying. Just like your mom, who said, “Did you hear me?”, expecting you to obey her command. The Greek word “listen” holds the same expectation–listen in order to obey, hear in order to heed, “listen to Him.”
The Father says to the three, Jesus must be obediently heard. This is powerful stuff—are you getting the point? Think about what God the Father is saying here. Moses and Elijah are still there—so listen to Jesus over Moses and Elijah. Jesus is now God’s authorized spokesman. Listen to what Jesus teaches, as the Lord clarifies and expands upon the teaching of the Old Testament. For Jewish men, this is big–listen to Jesus. “Listen to Him,”–over the teaching of Moses and Elijah in the Old Testament Scriptures. Listen in order to obey the Lord’s teaching above all. Wow!
And men, you three disciples–I, God the Father, am commanding you to listen to and obey Jesus’s teaching on the coming cross. Obey what Jesus, Moses and Elijah just talked about. You keep resisting Christ’s coming death, but His death is the reason He came. He was born to pay the wages of sin and death for His own. So listen to Christ–God the Son, as He heads to the cross. And listen to Christ as He fulfills God’s perfect, sovereign, predetermined plan.
The Son always does the Father’s will. The Son always fulfills the Father’s faultless plan. Christ is on target–everything Christ does pleases the Father. Christ is obedient–He’s faithful, and what He says is perfect. He’s going to suffer, because that’s God’s perfect will. He’s going to Jerusalem to die, because that’s the best plan. And the Father says, “I’m well pleased in all of it.” So the Father says, “Listen to Him–obey what He says.”
“Listen to Him” also means, if Jesus says, “If any man wishes to come after Me, let him deny Himself, take up his cross and follow Me,” then listen to Him. If Jesus says you must deny self, bear your cross to death and demonstrate loyal obedience to enter God’s Kingdom, then listen to what Jesus says–not what churches say or pastors say, but what Christ says. Listen to Jesus, obey Christ’s Word, trust what Jesus says. Then just as dramatic as the event itself was its conclusion.
C. The Rapidity of the Conclusion
Verse 8, “All at once they looked around and saw no one with them anymore, except Jesus alone.” The Transfiguration was so awesome, the glory-cloud so overwhelming, and the Father’s command so imposing, Matthew’s gospel tells us the three disciples hit the dirt face first–Matthew 17:6, “When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.” Have you noticed the amount of fear expressed at this event? When sinful men face God’s character, there is terror. Right now, sitting where you are, if You experienced the physical presence of God and His manifest glory, you’d hit the dirt. Most of us would pass out—all of us would shake with fear. That is how sinless and holy God is, and how sinful and unholy you are.
But all at once, the Greek is “suddenly”, all the lights went out. They looked around and there was no more voice, no more glory cloud, no more Elijah or Moses, no more transfigured Christ with his glowing clothes and bright lightning face. Everything went back to normal–Christ was veiled in His humanity once more, and He once again appeared just like a normal man. Matthew’s gospel describes the kindness of Christ as He walked over to where the men lay face down and touched them, told them to get up and not be afraid. Now it’s over–wow!
#1 Three Irrefutable Proofs of the Deity of Christ
First Christ’s Divine Glory was on Display
Second Christ’s Eternal Friends came to Discuss the Cross, and
Third Christ’s Heavenly Father Audibly Commends His Son
So now, just as you would, the men react to what has just happened
#2 Pondering the Transfiguration
The first thing we’d all want to do is tell everyone. “You’ll never believe what just happened to me. Wait till you hear this!” But the Lord has a different plan.
First The Command to be Silent
Luke tells us it’s the next day, probably morning. They’re leaving their secluded spot, and verse 9 says, “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 rose from the dead.” Bummer—“we don’t get to say a thing, to anyone–ever? No! We have to be silent about what we just saw—for now.” Not until the Son of Man, the Lord Jesus, rises from the dead.
Christ commands them to tell no one what they’ve seen. The Lord knows they don’t fully understand what they’ve seen, so they shouldn’t be sharing with others about what they’ve seen since they don’t get the real implications of what they’ve just seen. But the disciples are thinking, “Oh no, not this again! You don’t rise from the dead unless you die at some point.” So they’re thinking the Lord is still fixed upon His death wish–He keeps talking about dying then rising from the dead. “And until then, we can’t say a thing about Christ’s metamorphosis, Elijah and Moses’ visit and discussion, nor the Father’s affirmation. Ouch, so when can we talk about it?” Not until the Son of Man rose from the dead. Now this command to be silent until the resurrection causes . . .
Second The Comments about Rising from the Dead
Verse 10, “They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another what rising from the dead meant.” The Lord knew they’d not fully understand the proof of the Transfiguration until after the ultimate proof of the resurrection. But the men’s understanding is still foggy at best as to what is coming for the true Messiah. Even though Jesus just told them plainly in Mark 8:31, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
It is only in light of Christ’s death and resurrection do you understand His person. Jesus is not a nice man, a religious leader, a moral example, nor a wonderful visitor from Heaven. Jesus Christ is God who came to die to solve our sin problem, then rise from the dead to prove it was all true and provide the only way anyone can be restored to the God we’ve sinned against.
The three disciples seized on the idea of rising from the dead, which meant the Messiah had to die, then rise from the dead. The disciples had yet to see that Christ would be the final and comprehensive Passover Lamb. They didn’t comprehend Christ is both God and man, and as God could satisfy God’s wrath for our sin on the cross—then as man Christ could be our substitute, dying for the sins of His elect people, then rise from the dead because He had no sin of His own and prove it was truly accomplished.
This is blowing their minds, because for their entire lives they believed the Messiah would come to deliver the people from Rome. They didn’t understand that the Messiah would first come to deliver people from their sins. They discussed it literally over and over on the way down the mountain. And as they discussed their Messiah, it raised another question about the Messiah’s forerunner.
Third The Clarification about Elijah
Read verses 11 to 13, “They asked Him, saying, ‘Why is it that the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ 12 And He said to them, ‘Elijah does first come and restore all things. And yet how is it written of the Son of Man that He will suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has indeed come, and they did to him whatever they wished, just as it is written of him.’”
Don’t be intimidated by this discussion–the disciples had been taught by their teachers that Elijah would come before the Messiah to prepare the way. Our Lord had been rejected by the scribes, because the scribes had not seen Elijah come first as the forerunner prepping for Christ. Then Jesus told them, “Yes, there would be an Elijah who would come to prepare the way–but that preparation would not be a restoration of land or rule, but a restoration of heart.”
But since you’re asking about the Messiah, men–and since you have just now been discussing His coming death and resurrection. Have you also not read, or been taught what the Old Testament says about how the true Messiah will suffer and be treated badly? You want to know about the Messiah rising from the dead and therefore dying, have you studied that in the Old Testament as well? Have the scribes, the teachers, taught you that truth too?
Verse 12, the scribes continually focus on lesser things and make the wrong application. They teach a restoration of Israel rule. But God intended a restoration of God’s rule in your heart. There is more written on the suffering Messiah than there is on the forerunner of the Messiah (verse 12). The suffering and sacrifice of the Messiah is a major theme in the Old Testament–it’s everywhere in the Old Testament. So are you asking about that truth too? The Lord again is pointing to the importance of the coming Cross–that the true Messiah must suffer and die for the sins of His people. That’s the main issue promised in the Old Testament, not the forerunner.
But verse 13, an Elijah did come–His name was? John the Baptist. He came first, and has been followed by the true Messiah. John the Baptist came, and now his ministry is complete. He prepared thousands of hearts for the coming Messiah. He publicly proclaimed Jesus in John 1:29 as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Yet look at verse 13, “and they did to him whatever they wished.” It’s better translated, “also they did to him whatever they pleased.” They killed John, but Jesus points again “also” to the coming necessary death of the Messiah–they will kill Him also.
Matthew 17 makes this very clear in verses 12 and 13, “’But I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.’ 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.” Christ needed His men to understand the absolute necessity of His coming death, burial and resurrection–the cross. Do you?
A Have you EMBRACED the death of Christ for your sin?
Not, did you make a decision or pray a prayer, but have you embraced the truth you’re worthy of eternal torment, burning in flames, suffering in darkness, agonizing forever because of your selfishness, your pride, your harsh speech, your evil thoughts, your defiant choices and sick desires. You must go to hell forever. But in His mercy, Jesus suffered Hell for His children–not just the suffering and agony of the cross, but all of God’s hateful, just wrath for each and every one of your sins. Have you turned to Him in such a way as to demonstrate you have repented/turned from sin and depend on Him by faith? Have you exchanged all that you are for all that He is? Do that today.
B Are you in AWE of who Christ is and moved by His love for you?
How can you not be in awe of the glory of Christ? What will it be like to sit down and talk with Him like Moses and Elijah? What will it be like to dialog with Him face to face? When reading these verses, I could almost feel His holiness shoot through me exposing my ugly sin like an X-ray. Yet at the same time, His passion to go to the cross proves He loves me so much, He died so I could be forgiven of those very sins He exposed. Oh I hope you’re in awe of Christ, and moved by His love for you.
C Are you manifesting a heart that is willing and wants to pay the PRICE of being a true Christian?
Do you recall the price Christ requires of all His children? Mark 8:34, “And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.’” Jesus paid the ultimate price to rescue us from our sins, and He calls all of His followers to be willing to pay the same price–to be willing to deny self, pick up our cross and follow Him–to die to ourselves so we don’t live for ourselves but live for Him.
Second Corinthians 5:14 and 15 say, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” Is that you? The loving Lord wants you to make certain you are truly His child. He pleads with you to test your heart–don’t be the one Jesus says, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
D Where are you not HEEDING Christ
The only command in these thirteen verses is found in verse 7–the Father’s command to the Lord’s disciples to hear Him, to obey Jesus Christ. Ask the Spirit of God right now, “Where am I not obeying you?” And the Spirit of Truth will expose some Scripture where you are not following God’s Word. Ask Him right now, and wait. Now ask Him for the grace to repent, memorize Scripture, share with a brother or sister, commit to pray and repent of those sins–make certain you’re heeding your Savior.
E Do you think often of what ETERNITY will be like for you?
Everyone in this room is going to live forever. It’s not YOLO, “you only live once.” No, it’s YOLF, “you only live forever.” The only question is where you will live forever. And for the believers in this room, what a forever it’s gonna be. Just from this event, you can see the intimacy of Christ with His people, shown in His dealings with Elijah and Moses. You can get a flavor of eternity without the limits of time,
Jesus sitting down with two guys who died over 1,400 years ago, but currently fellowshipping with them like old friends. You get a picture of glory, a new kind of existence that is beyond our physical limitations. They knew it was Moses without a picture.
As you leave our gathering today, you should be thinking of what Heaven will be like for you, and wondering with great joy in your heart what it will be like for you to go home? Let’s ask Him now to help us live like those whose home is Heaven. Let’s pray.