The message was brought by Rev. Jack Sprinkle.
Matthew 17: And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.7 And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
Jesus was coming to the end of his ministry and the end of the age was on his mind. He set it up so Peter, James, and John would have a lasting impression on their minds. They were instructed not to talk about what happened until after he was raised from the dead.
There is life beyond the grave and Jesus wants us to be settled on that fact. The grave isn’t the end; in fact, death is the beginning. Why did Jesus bring Moses and Elijah in? Look at how long they had been dead. It showed there is life beyond the grave. If you’re saved that life is joy. If you’re lost you will never know joy again. For the lost, this earth is as close to heaven as they get. For the saved, this earth is as close to hell as we’ll get.
They saw glory unveiled before their eyes. Moses and Elijah were saying they were living in eternity and thereby telling us we will live also. Jesus said he was going to prepare a place for us that where he is we may be also. He will receive us unto himself. Paul said the dead in Christ will raise first and those who are alive will meet them and the Lord in the air to ever be with the Lord. Because we’ve accepted Jesus we’ll be there. Now he walks with us because he promised never to forsake us. After this life we’ll walk with him because we’ll be where he is. The transfiguration gives us a peek into the Spirit world. Moses and Elijah show us glorified humans. They talked with Jesus. This means we’ll talk with each other and with Jesus.
The transfiguration also set straight the belief in a confirmed eternity. When we leave this world we’ll go into a world without end. We’ll know each other just like we do now. I don’t read where Peter, James and John asked who Moses and Elijah were. I believe I’ll know Abraham when I see him. This should stop doubts about life beyond the grave. Quality of life won’t diminish; it will only get better. We’ll have no problems in heaven. Moses and Elijah proved there is life beyond the grave and it is a better life.
The transfiguration proved Jesus is the Authority. He’s Master of all things. Peter, James and John didn’t fully recognize this or they wouldn’t have wanted to build tabernacles for Moses and Elijah. Jesus had authority to speak and seas would stop raging. Bringing Moses and Elijah back was no problem for Jesus. He had authority to call them down. They were not the point here. Jesus was. They didn’t deserve worship. Jesus did. We don’t hear them; we are to hear Jesus. This was a spectacular moment. They got a great surprise. God himself came on the scene. There are no secrets to God. He was always with Jesus and he’ll always be with us.
Why was the transfiguration brought to pass? To tell us there is life after death. We know Jesus is our point of worship. God said Jesus was his son and he was well pleased with him. Only he deserves worship. They could see God knows all and that Jesus has full authority. We are his servants. Thank God this is not the end of it. The transfiguration simply showed us who has authority, that the grave isn’t the end. There is life to enjoy after death. Is this not his Word? He’s speaking to us just as sincerely as he did Peter, James and John about worshipping Jesus. He asks that we live for him. In a sense we’re under the same cloud as they were. We are privileged to be Christians. One day we’ll understand it all and be able to thank Jesus for letting us know there is life beyond this one. This life is only a dressing room to get ready to meet him.
The disciples didn’t fully understand it but they experienced it. Don’t try to tell Jesus what to do. Just follow him.