Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
(Matthew 17:1-9, New American Standard Bible)
Someone told me recently that a movie without special effects is not worth watching at all. The epic "Lord of the Rings" was written sometime during the 1950s, and interestingly it took Hollywood more than fifty years to come up with a movie that truly visualizes the book's splendor.
Let us rewind more than three thousand years to the time of ancient civilizations. Egypt was one of the most powerful empires of the entire world. The Hebrews - God's chosen people - fleeing from the wrath of the Egyptian Pharaoh and the enormous Red Sea stood in their way. Picture this in your mind, the prophet Moses, with God's indescribable power, dividing the waters of the Red Sea. Just imagine the Hebrews walking between the seas, the children looking at the colorful creatures of water like excited children looking at aquariums. It boggles the mind, doesn't it?
Let me tell you that the glorious riches in our Lord Jesus Christ exceed even the miracle at the Red Sea. Our Lord Jesus is glory personified. Jesus reigns in heaven at the side of the Father. He is the ‘King of Kings’ and Lord of all. The Prophet Isaiah prophecies about the birth of Jesus and in that prophecy he tells us who exactly Jesus is.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6, New American Standard Bible)
When Jesus was transfigured the apostles were ‘terrified’ (Mark 9:6). Such was the glory of the eternal King, and His powers are still the same today. It is humbling to know from the Bible that this King became meekness personified and lived as the Son of Man – a servant on earth. It is humbling to know that this King talked and ate with people, who like us, were not even worthy to enter into the presence of the Lord. It is humbling to know that this King suffered the most gruesome death any mortal could just so that you and I may be reconciled to God like a lost son to a happy father (Luke 5). It is humbling to know that this King came back from the dead so that He may impart His Spirit into you and me. It is a humbling experience to be used by the King for the greater glory of His kingdom – which is the image of the Triune God on earth.
Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and girded across His chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.
(Revelation 1:12-18, New American Standard Bible)
One day we too, like John, will see the Lord’s blazing countenance and we will all fall at His feet like ‘dead people’. But out Lord is a loving and compassionate Lord. He says, “Do not be afraid.” What a Savior! In this time of church politics and power struggles, don’t you think that we should restore Jesus as the one true King of His Kingdom and as the only Head of His body? Remember that He will be victorious on the final day. Amen.