March 23 I Tuesday
“Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.” —Matthew 17:3
A very unusual and amazing event happened while Jesus was praying with His disciples. Before Peter, James and John, Jesus “was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light” (Matthew 17:2). If that was not strange enough, two men were standing beside Jesus.
One was Moses, who lived about 1,500 years before Christ and the other was Elijah, who lived about 800 years before Christ. These two are leading men of the Old Testament, who did extraordinary things for God. Yet, it begs the question: Why these two men? Why not Abraham or David? After all, Abraham was called the “Father of Many Nations” and King David was the royal line from which Christ came. Rather, the appearing of Moses and Elijah beside Jesus represents two of the major themes found in the Old Testament Scriptures.
Moses represents the Law. He was the one to whom God gave the Law on Mount Sinai, and the Law was essentially given in order to reveal the character of God. If we want to know God’s moral character, we just simply need to look at the Ten Commandments. The effect of the law, however, was humanity being exposed to their inability and failure to keep it fully. God, therefore, gave the ceremonial law, which involved the sacrificing of animals as a means of being forgiven and reconciled to God. The Law of Moses was a foreshadow of Christ.
Elijah represents the prophets. He was not the first prophet, but he was the first of a new breed of prophets that were itinerant prophets. Most of the writers of the Old Testament prophetic books were itinerant preachers who travelled around preaching, but Elijah was the first. The prophets spoke for God, telling people that there is going to come a day when God is going to intervene in history. He is going to send the Messiah, and the prophetic ministry points to Christ as well.
The appearing of these two men represents two themes in the Old Testament that prepared the coming of Christ in the New Testament. Jesus tells us, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them” (Matthew 5:17). The Law and the Prophets all point to Jesus as the One who stands at the climax of history. May we recognize that Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises, and believe in Him who came to this world to save us.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for being the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. You are the Messiah that came to save the world. Praise You!
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