What did the Transfiguration mean, when Jesus stood with Moses and ElijahWhat exactly was happening?
Some popular thought on this is that Moses and Elijah represented the Jewish law and Jewish prophets respectively. When God said listen to him, the old laws and prophets must give way to Jesus in the New Covenant that Jesus is the completion of the laws and the fulfillment of prophecies of the OT.
Brant Pitre has an interesting take on this. If you look back at the Old Testament, the only two individuals who specifically asked to see the face of God but were denied, were Moses and Elijah. Both encountered God on a mountain and both were denied with a similar “not yet” answer, although God permitted them to encounter him as he passed by.
At the transfiguration, these were the same two individuals who were permitted to see the transfigured face of Jesus after his incarnation as a human being, but not permitted before that time.
Begin at about the 4:30 mark.
One way to consider this scene is in counterbalance to the Agony in the Garden. In both cases, Jesus admits Peter, James, and John into his closest circle. The presence of Elijah and Moses confirmed for these Apostles Jesus’ fulfillment of Scripture and his otherwise hidden glory. They needed this reinforcement to live through the forthcoming Passion in hope. In some paintings, Moses and Elijah hold out to Jesus the implements of his forthcoming torture.
Thank you for posting this. It brings me closer in trying to understand fully what the Transfiguration means. God bless.
Thank you, as you remind us of Peter, James and John being close to Jesus in both instances. There is, I believe a connection. I will try to find the paintings. Gd bless yoiu
Here’s a great reflection on the Transfiguration, and how it’s a sneak peak of the call for us to be transformed into saints and to partake of the divine nature.
He’s talking about it in the context of being purified during Lent.
It’s rather long (28 min), so get a cup of coffee and watch when you’ve got a little time.
This is good, too, and short.
I’ll take a shot. He revealed Himself in His risen, glorified state, revealing the truth of the resurrection. He was able to do this as He is not bound by time or space. By revealing Moses and Elijah alive, he bore witness to that resurrection, His teaching that God is God of the living and not of the dead, and to the atonement which He was to complete at Calvary. To show that He is the fulfillment of the “law and the prophets”, Moses (the Law) and Elijah (the Prophets) appeared. There is much more to it, but this comes immediately to mind.
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