November 24 I Saturday
1 Peter 1
“Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him.” —Luke 9:32
While passing through Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked His disciples who the people thought He was. They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” Jesus asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:14-16). Messiah means
“the Anointed One,” the deliverer to whom all Israel
was looking forward.
Eight days later, we read of the remarkable event of the Transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James and John were half-asleep on a mountainside while Jesus was praying when suddenly, “the appearance of His face changed, and His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning” (Luke 9:29). Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Jesus about all that He would soon fulfill through His death and resurrection. The disciples, when they fully awoke, were stunned by the scene unfolding before them. Peter finally responded, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” Luke adds, “(He did not know what he was saying)” (Luke 9:33).
Like any Jew, Peter understood the historical significance attached to Moses and Elijah. Moses represents the stream running through the Old Testament that we call the Law. This includes the Ten Commandments, which Moses received on Mount Sinai, and the ceremonial laws governing how the people could worship and be reconciled to God. Elijah represents the other stream, the Prophets. He was one of the first itinerant prophets, who travelled around ministering to Israel about the state of the nation and prophesying of the Messiah to come as the remedy. The fact that Moses and Elijah were standing with Jesus bears witness that the Law and Prophets do not stand alone but come to fruition in Christ.
Peter likely meant well by wanting to build Moses, Elijah and Jesus each a tent. He may have even thought he was elevating Jesus with this offer, assigning Him the same dignity as two of Israel’s most prominent figures. But the Transfiguration revealed Jesus is far more. He is not only God’s anointed but equal with God in deity and substance. He does not represent a new stream of Scripture on par with Moses and Elijah but is the One in whom all Scripture becomes clear and is fulfilled. For a brief moment, the Transfiguration revealed Jesus in all His glory as not just the Messiah or just the fulfillment of Scripture, though He is, but God Himself. What better answer is there to, “Who do you say I am?”
Prayer: Lord Jesus, the Transfiguration gives us a glimpse of Your glory, but I cannot wait until I experience it firsthand forever with You, my Saviour and my God.