Celebration Of Messiah's Transfiguration
And Its Significance Today
Rev. Samuel Hilel Lal
Greetings in the matchless and glorious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Messiah!
Today I am overwhelmed with the joy of the Lord and am excited to be with His saints in His glorious presence on this once in a life time and historic night, worshiping our Glorious Messiah, Jesus the Supreme Lord! Hallelujah !!
Before I start sharing on the topic-"CELEBRATION OF MESSIAH'S TRANSFIGURATION AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE TODAY"- I want to share a very significant personal story, which will make a difference, as it has made in my personal life. I was born in answer to the prayers of God-fearing parents, where my Daddy was a Pastor and Mummy a teacher. They named me Samuel. They led me to the Lord when I was a little boy. I had a desire to grow and serve the Lord with my Pastor Daddy. It so happened when I was 13 years old, my Daddy was called Home by the Lord. He was hardly 44years at that time. Though I have the Christian hope for the believers who sleep in the Lord, but my dream and desire was shattered as I had lost my father. That day I prayed for two things to become reality in my life. FIRST-God, I have lost my father, and I want to experience you as my father in reality, as you were to my Lord Jesus Christ. SECOND- Father God, I do not come from rich family, but I have a desire to visit the place and preach, where your Son Jesus was born, served the people, suffered, died and rose again. He answered both my prayers and TODAY I AM HERE!
One day I will be in heaven, thank Him for becoming my father and helping to preach in the world and also in the place where Jesus preached. Glory!
Now let us see the gracious FATHER revealing His glorious SON , Jesus the Messiah. He was born of the Spirit. At the time of Baptism, Holy Spirit descended and first time the Father spoke, "He is my Beloved son in him I am well pleased". Note Jesus pleased his Father, even before starting his public ministry and received the commendation.(Luke 3:22). He came to Nazareth, where he was brought up, he was given a chance to read form the book of Isaiah, He read, " The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel---heal the broken hearted,---set the captives free --- ( Luke 4:18-22 ).It was not simply reading but it started happening ,as He began his ministry. Acts 10:38 says," How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil---.
Jesus was at the peak of his ministry .One day he asked his disciples. " Who do men say that I am ?" Disciples said that people thought that he was a prophet or so and so. Jesus asked them, " But who do you say that I am?" Peter replied, "Thou art the Christ (MESSIAH), the Son of the living God." (Matt.16: 16). This truth was not revealed by flesh and blood but by the Father ,in heaven. He was the Messiah for a specific mission of His Father.
Jesus had become very famous, people wanted to see him, but he started sharing with his disciples about the purpose for which he had come. At that time certain Greeks came and requested Philip saying, "Sir, we would see Jesus." Jesus answered and said, "The hour has that the Son of man should be glorified." (John 12:21 & 23). He gave the example of the corn of wheat falling in the ground, dying alone and rising to bear much fruit. He started sharing with his disciples about his suffering and death, which would be glorious. There we see a second time the FATHER speaking, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again ."(John 12:28). Jesus further said," If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me." He was signifying what death he should die. People who heard him could not understand and said, CHRIST (MESSIAH) abides forever, and how could he die?
He was the glorious Messiah, the Son of God, but all this manifestation was to reveal the divine purpose of God in saving the mankind, for which he had to come and die. Let us see some verses about the glorious Messiah Jesus:
"who being the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person". ( Heb 1:3a)
"and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth". ( John1:14b).
" no man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the father, he has declared him".(John 1:18).
"being in the form of God---made himself of no reputation, took the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men---he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also has highly exalted him and given him a NAME which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow--- and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord , to the glory of God, the Father."(Phil.2:6-11).
The secret of MESSIAH'S glory was suffering and sacrificing all for mankind. This glory can be explained something like this. When we heat some metal, it becomes hot, but when the heat is increased, it starts glowing. First red hot, then glittering golden and when it is very hot it turns bright white, radiating like the sun. This happened to the transfigured Messiah.
All the synoptic gospels record the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.(Matt.17:1-9, Mark9:1-9, Luke 9:27-36). Jesus took three of his disciples (Peter, John and James) with him on the mountain to teach the secret and purpose of his transfiguration:
He created an atmosphere where, Moses and Elijah appeared in glory and talked with him, They spoke of the decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31) . The revelation was glorious, the great leaders of their times appeared and Jesus was seen all glorious---
Indeed the appearance was glorious and there is no doubt, if we were there, we too would have liked to pitch a tent to live with him in that glory. The revelation is good , but do we know the purpose and the meaning behind it ?
There came a cloud and a voice out of the cloud, saying, a third time FATHER spoke "This is my Beloved SON, hear him."(Luke 9:34-35). We too get excited when we experience such things, but do we know the meaning of the message ?Are we ready to hear what our Master has to say ? Do we need a cloud and a voice from above to make us know our GLORIOUS MESSIAH JESUS and his mission for us TODAY? IV. SIGNIFICANCE OF MESSIAH'S TRANSFIGURATION TODAY:
The transfiguration of Jesus was to show that He is God supreme, his disciples could see a glimpse of His glory, and Jesus Christ was there getting the final information, how he will suffer and die for the salvation of mankind. That was not the place to settle down but a place from where to march forward to fulfill the mission for which Jesus had come.
Jesus told his disciples not to tell about this vision to anyone "until the Son of man is raised again from the dead"(Matt17:9b) .It was a glorious experience but the message discussed was serious. They had to keep quiet till the Son of man was lifted up on the cross, glorified and "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinance that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross, and having spoiled principalities and powers, has made a show of them openly, triumphing over them ---(Colo.2:14-15). Jesus died, rose again, glorified and declared, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of Hades and of death." (Rev 1:18). These disciples were the witnesses of His glory and also His agony.
PETER DECLARED: Peter saw the vision , understood the message and when Jesus was risen from the dead, Peter shared about this glorious Transfiguration vision. He declares, " we were the eye witnesses of His majesty. For he received from God, the Father, honor and glory, when there came a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount."( II Peter 1:16-18 ).
We have heard the significance of the Transfiguration of the Messiah Jesus our Lord. Let us apply it in our lives. Jesus calls us to experience Him and His mission:
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