The Transfiguration

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
The Transfiguration

The Lord Jesus Christ transfigured on Mount Tabor and His transfiguration was a token of the transfiguration of human nature in the after life, to convince us that it is not His Human Nature alone which will be transfigured, but our human nature also with Him. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him on the Mountain of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3) and they represent tWo types of saintly people, they differ in the method and style of life, but they are similar in holiness and in the depth of their relationship with God:

Elijah was celibate and Moses was married...thus the Lord shows us that the transfiguration in eternity will be for those who are celibate and married alike. We should also remember that the three disciples who witnessed the Lord's transfiguration had amongst them John the Apostle who was celibate and Peter the Apostle who was married (Matthew 17:1).
Elijah was an ascetic, living on the mountain (2 Kings 1:8, 9) and representing the life of solitude and contemplation. Whereas Moses lived amongst thousands of people and he represents the life of service. The Lord also shows us that those that live the life of service and those that live the life of contemplation all will have their natures transfigured in eternity.
Moses "was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth." (Numbers 12:3) He represents humility and forgiveness and he interceded for the people when they.. sinned (Exodus 32:11-14). Elijah was known for his zeal, power and infliction of punishment, he was able to say to the captain of fifty, "...let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men" (2 Kings 1:10,12). Both natures, despite of their different types, will be transfigured together in eternity.
Moses represents those who have died and Elijah represents those who were lifted up to heaven alive (2 Kings 2:11).
Moses. represents the Law and Elijah represents the prophets.
Despite this diversity, each of them was "the man of God". Each of them performed miracles. Each of them had familiarity with God. Each of them was courageous -Moses stood against Pharaoh and Elijah stood against King Ahab (1 Kings 18) and King Ahaziah (2 Kings 1).

We can say that the Transfiguration represents the "illuminated nature", and Saint Paul the Apostle spoke about the transfiguration of our nature.
He said that we will rise from death, "in glory", "in power", "in incorruption", with spiritual, heavenly bodies, ''as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Corinthians 15:42-49). He also said, "..from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body" (Philippians 3:20,21).

The Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ on Mount Tabor was not His complete transfiguration, but only much as the apostles could bear at the time.
The form of His transfiguration before Saint John the Apostle in the island of Patmos was greater than this, "His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength", "and His eyes like a flame of fire", "and His voice as the sound of many waters" (Revelations 1:13-16). Saint John could not bear this glory and said, "When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead" (Revelations 1 : 17).

Hence, you now see the nature of the summit of the Transfiguration in His Second Coming!
When He comes, "in the glory of His Father with His angels" (Matthew /6:27). "When He comes in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26). He has displayed before us different forms of His Transfiguration in His glory: the glory of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor, the glory of the Resurrection, the glory of the Ascension, the sitting at the right hand of the Father and the glory of the Second Coming...The glory of eternity which is inexpressible.

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