What do you think of when you hear the word 'glory'? What about the phrase 'the cross'? Those concepts don't seem to fit together, but as we look at the event called 'The Transfiguration of Jesus,' we see that they do. Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up a high mountain. "There He was transfigured before them." The concealed majesty of the Son of God and His divine nature were revealed. This indescribable sight is described this way: "His face shone like the sun" and "His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them." (Matthew 17, Mark 9) Elijah and Moses appeared, talking with Jesus "about His departure, which He was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem." (Luke 9) Think of that – in all His glory, Jesus is discussing His death on the cross! But Peter only saw the glory of the moment; he didn’t want to face Jesus’ death. What he didn’t yet understand was that if he didn’t see Jesus’ death, he would never truly see Jesus’ glory. This is why Jesus told Peter, James, and John not to say anything about this event until after He had risen from the dead.
Do we, like Peter, sometimes get confused about Jesus’ glory? Does our idea of glory look for Him to do things that seem greater to us than suffering and dying on a cross? How often do we look past the message of the cross because we want to see a different kind of 'glory,' one that only makes our lives better here and now? Don’t miss this glory: The Son of God who revealed His majesty on that mountain is the same one who suffered and died, bearing our sin, absorbing God’s wrath against our sin. This is ASTONISHING GLORY! And it is the glory of God to come to us with this good news and the promise of eternal life in Jesus – an everlasting glory which will never pass away like that moment on the mountain.
Come visit us at CHRIST OUR REDEEMER for more of this message of God's grace!
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.