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Transfiguration Sunday – February 27, 2022

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Transfiguration Sunday – February 27, 2022

Jesus most often prayed alone, in solitude among the rocks or hills. But at least twice he prayed in the presence of his disciples. We are told that their entire company was with him when he prayed at Gethsemane. We have in our text today, Jesus accompanied in his prayer time by Peter, John, and James. On both occasions, something unusual occurred, something that might be called miraculous. There, in the Garden of Gethsemane (which, at the time of our current text, still lies ahead in Jesus’ future), Jesus sweats great drops like blood and an angel comes to strengthen him (Lk. 22:43-44). Now, here, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus’ entire appearance changes: his face altered… his clothes become dazzling white… and his conversation partners are Moses and Elijah—men long dead.

This reference to blood and the occasion of dazzling whiteness anticipate the scene depicted in Rev. 7:9-17. There, a multitude too numerous to count, comes wearing white robes and praising God. They are identified by one of the elders as those who “have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). They have the dwelling place of God spread over them. They will no longer endure hunger, thirst, blazing sun, or debilitating heat. But, because the Lamb will be their shepherd, they will enjoy springs of living water and God himself will wipe away their tears (Rev. 7:16-17). These blessings anticipate those of the New Creation as depicted in Rev. 21:1-6.

Now to us, you and me, we don’t hear a voice from the cloud, but we do have our preacher. Our prayers are not accompanied by wonders and miracles, but we do have their fulfillment in faith through Jesus Christ. While we must contend with the impossibility of any clothing made white by being washed in blood, the dazzling purity of our righteousness in Christ already exists because he shed his blood for us.

Table Talk: Discuss the connection between blood & righteousness and blood & forgiveness.
Pray: Heavenly Father, for the sake of Jesus’ blood shed for me, forgive my sins, and make me righteous. Amen

Luke 9:28-36 ESV

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.

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