Transfiguration Saturday ~ March 2

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The Transfiguration

March 2

Psalm 99Exodus 34:29-35II Corinthians 3:12-4:2Luke 9:28-43

This past week we concluded a brief series on I Corinthians 11 - 15 called Love and Resurrection. We sought to trace out the connections between the love of God, expressed in I Corinthians 13, with the hope of God in the resurrection, which is described in I Corinthians 15. One is the “love” chapter. The other is the “resurrection” chapter. In our last message we considered what our resurrected bodies would look like. There’s not a ton of information on this point in the New Testament. That seems reasonable. How could we understand something so wonderful.

Every year, on the week prior to Lent, the Gospel reading retells the story of the Transfiguration. It seems fitting that we concluded last week’s series in I Corinthians 15 only to move to the story of the transfiguration. We are told that Jesus is the “firstfruits” of the resurrection. He is the first one to be brought back from the dead, never to die again, and live in a glorified, transphysical, body. The hope in I Corinthians 15 stems from the fact that we get to follow him in this resurrection and there will be a day where our physical bodies are spiritual, still tangible, still substantive, but different in all of the right ways.

Jesus is also the “firstfruits” of this glorification. In the transfiguration, Jesus’ face and body is transformed by the glory of God. For a few moments, the veil is pulled back, and we see Christ filled with light, glowing with the glory of God’s presence. Could it be, that at that moment, Jesus was giving his benighted disciples a picture of their future destiny. They would not become Jesus but by staying so close to him some of that old glory may just wear off and make them glow.

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill