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Brian Haines Index

The Transfiguration 

Monday, April 8, 2013

 

What Did Peter see as the proof event of the majesty of Christ? In 2 Peter 1:16-18 Peter tells us that it was his witness of the Transfiguration (in Luke 9:28-32).  The transfiguration was meant to teach us that the covenant of Jesus is superior to all other covenants

We know that two other men joined our Lord at this event. Let us consider them for a moment. First there was Elijah the Tishbite. There are 30 references to Elijah in the New Testament; most pertain to a doctrinal importance as opposed to exemplary. Scripture reveals that  Elijah is the personification of the Prophets (2 Kings 2:13, 2 Kings 2:15)

                The second man to join Jesus was Moses. There are 79 references to Moses in the New Testament, and like Elijah, most pertain to a doctrinal importance as opposed to exemplary.  Moses is the personification of the Law (Matthew 23:2). We might consider now the significance that Jesus said “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Here on this mountain He met “the Law and the Prophets” in a personified manner.

                There are a number of things these three have in common. First, you will not find their graves (Jesus: Acts 2:31,  Elijah: II Kings 2:11,  Moses: Jude 9). Second, each had a prophetic message of returning (Jesus: Acts 1:11, Elijah: Malachi 4:5, Moses: Deuteronomy 18:15). Third, they were the only ones to fast 40 days (Jesus in Matthew 4, Elijah on Mt Horeb in I Kings 19:8, Moses on Mt Sinai in Exodus 34:28)

We ought to consider that there are three very important points that matter greatly to us that are taught by the transfiguration.

 

The Superiority of Jesus Christ

 

                The Bible tells us that Jesus established a superior covenant based on superior promises (Hebrews 8:6). As we saw in a previous study, a covenant is a law and a promise; therefore, Jesus’ promises are superior to those of the previous covenants, and Jesus’ law is superior. One way we see that superiority is by comparing the law of Moses to the Law of Christ. Jesus told the woman at the well that His law and covenant would be one that was spiritual, inferring that the previous laws and promises were carnal or worldly. Let us see this in the following chart:

               

The Anointing of the Messiah

 

                We understand that the word “Messiah” (Hebrews; in Greek it is the word “Christos”, or Christ) means “anointed”. This act was done to establish three offices in the Old Testament; the High Priest (Exodus 29:7), a Prophet (I Kings 19:16), and a King (I Kings 1:34).  We know that Jesus was identified as a High Priest (Hebrews 8:1), a Prophet (Acts 3:22-23) and a King (I Timothy 6:15). God spoke to having anointed His Messiah (Isaiah 61:1) with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38), and we see here one of three times God spoke from heaven and the Holy Spirit came forth; the other times were Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:16-17) and when Jesus was about to be glorified (John 12:28)

 

Speaking About His Death

               

                Finally, Luke’s account makes the point that Moses and Elijah spoke concerning the coming death of Jesus. This is significant in that they, being the Law and the Prophet’s personified, have always spoeken about the necessity of the death of the Son of God. Consider what Jesus said later in this Gospel: “Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms……..thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day” (Luke 24:44,46)