Read Luke 9:28-36
It’s a stop on the journey to empty tomb that I wish I could have seen with my own eyes.
Probably each of us has one or more of those moments in history, where we wish we could have been a fly on the wall observer taking in the unfolding drama and dialogue. What would it be for you? The signing of the Declaration of Independence? Susan B. Anthony’s crucial conversations about women’s suffrage.
I would have loved to be part of this moment we know as the Transfiguration. Let’s highlight some of today’s reading.
The location was a mountain. Some believe it to have been Jebel Jermak in Upper Galilee.
Those present initially included Jesus and three of the disciples: Peter, James, and John.
The purpose for the time on the mountain was to pray. Jesus often retreated to pray, and this is one of two times that He took Peter, James, and John along with Him. (By the way, both times they fell asleep.)
But then came the unexpected. His face changed its appearance, and His clothing began to flash like lightning. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah were there.
The focal point of the conversation of these three was simple. It was Christ’s upcoming “departure.” Moses and Elijah were certainly the right ones to talk to about this! Maybe your Bible even notes it, but the Greek word translated as “departure” is actually “exodus.” Moses knew something about exodus. Elijah also knew something about departure. He was one of only two Bible characters who seems to have experienced “exodus” from this life without death (cf. Gen. 5:22; 2 Kings 2). Jesus was talking with these men familiar with “exodus” about His own imminent departure.
I would have loved to have heard that conversation! Which aspect of His “departure” did they really discuss? Did it focus on His death? Was His resurrection the primary point? Did they talk at length about His ascension?
Although I am not sure, I am grateful for the reality of all three, for all three are essential to Christ’s ministry for you and me.
You can view Raphael’s rendition of this event and read some of the story of this painting by going to http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/la-pinacoteca/sala-viii—secolo-xvi/raffaello-sanzio–trasfigurazione.html