About eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen.
I can relate well with Peter in this story. If I had been there, I probably would have passed out from fear! But what a glorious story we have here. We get a foretaste of the New Creation in which our mortal bodies will be transformed into immortal, resurrected ones, never again subject to decay, deformity, sickness, or infirmity.
The story of the Transfiguration reminds us that Jesus is who he said he is–the Lord, the promised Messiah through whom salvation will be offered to the entire world. His transfigured body is a preview of coming attractions for us because we remember the gracious promise contained in 1 John 3:2:
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.
This is our hope of glory as Christians. This is our destiny with Christ! It is not ours because of who we are or because we deserve it. No, it is ours because of who God is and because he wants us to have life with him forever. That is why he created us in the first place.
We don’t know what the New Creation or our resurrection bodies will look like, but if the Transfiguration is any indication, it will be glorious. Too often we Christians fail to embrace our hope and instead let the cares and anxieties of this world beat us down. Don’t be one of those folks. Embrace the hope of glory that is yours in Christ and give thanks everyday that you have it awaiting you!
And while you are doing so, remember that the hope of New Creation reminds us that God’s current creation here on earth is also worth redeeming. Get on your knees in prayer, ask the Lord what he wants you to do with the gifts he has given you, and then use those gifts to help him in his redemptive work here on earth. After all, if we have the hope of the New Creation awaiting us, it means that God thinks his old, fallen creation is worth redeeming and we have a glorious invitation to help him in his redemptive work. Cool.