We remember the scene. Jesus takes Simon, James, and John up Mount Tabor, or it is believed to be this mountain. Jesus becomes dazzling white. Elijah and Moses come to speak with Him. Depending on which gospel story you are reading, Elijah and Moses are talking about the exodus Jesus is to take. Exodus? What exodus? Did not Moses lead the Hebrew people out of Egypt? So, what is this exodus Jesus is to take?
Recall, the Old Testament is a foreshadowing of what happens in the New Testament. Look once more at what Moses did. He led the Hebrew people out of Egypt to that they would be free from slavery to the Egyptians. For that to happen, God sent plagues to change Pharaoh’s heart, but he clung stubbornly and would not let the Hebrew people leave. Until, as Pharaoh predicted, his first-born son died. God had prepared not only the Egyptians to be well disposed to the Hebrew people leaving but had also prepared the Hebrew people to remember this event forever every year by celebrating the Passover.
Jesus has been working signs and miracles. In the gospels of Mathew, Mark, and Luke, the Transfiguration is the midpoint of each gospel. From this point Jesus has prepared the people and His disciples for His exodus. Now He sets His face to Jerusalem. Each gospel takes on a more solemn tone and the message is that Jesus is to die and then rise again. That is His exodus. Dying and rising. Jesus will lead us through death to new life through His sacrifice, His exodus. Jesus will climb Mount Calvary to free us from the slavery of sin. In the Transfiguration He is with Elijah and Moses. On Calvary He is with two thieves. This event was to strengthen the disciples for what is to come, but they almost slept through it. When Jesus dies on the cross, they run in fear, and almost miss the exodus of Jesus until He appears to them in glory.
What does this mean for us today? We can harden our hearts and turn away, or we can experience the transformation of the cross in our lives. By the way, one more thought to consider. In forty days, we will celebrate the feast of Exaltation of the Cross. Take a moment to look up this feast day.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen