What’s the significance of the transfiguration of Jesus?

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The transfiguration

Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:28).

The above prediction was fulfilled in the following manner: “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him” (Matthew 17:1-3).

Matthew, Mark, and Luke record the narrative of the Transfiguration immediately following this prediction. There is no break in the narrative–no chapter or verse division in the Greek original–and furthermore all three mention the fact that the Transfiguration occurred about a week after this statement, implying that the event was the fulfillment of the prediction.

The meaning of this event

The Transfiguration was a miniature demonstration of the kingdom of glory. Peter one of the disciples that were present at the Transfiguration also understood it like explained. He wrote, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”  And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).

There is theological significance behind the coming of Elijah and Moses, and that is why they were chosen to attend to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. The transfiguration represented the resurrection at the end of time. Moses represented those who will die and be resurrected and go to heaven, while Elijah represented those who will go to heaven without experiencing death.

Elijah was taken alive to Heaven: “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 kings 2:11), while, Moses received a private resurrection by Jesus (Michael): “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (Jude 9). So, both Elijah and Moses were taken to heaven and did appear to Christ and some of the disciple at the transfiguration of Christ.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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