PARALLELS ON THE MOUNTAIN…


Here’s a good one from Lee!  Enjoy!-anita

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As I think on Jesus during my prayer times and what it will be like to see Him in person, face-to-face, the essence of the Beatific Vision (the boundless happiness of Heaven), I wonder what He will look like (it doesn’t really matter what He looks like, of course, but I’m child-like sometimes and think of things in very simple terms). As I’ve noted in other postings, there’s reason to believe He will maintain His human likeness in Heaven as He fulfills the role of the 2nd Adam, worthy to be our Savior, a man without blemish.

I’m perplexed as I think of Isaiah 53:2, wherein Jesus is characterized as One who “…has no stately form or majesty…nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him….” This view I contrast in my mind with the one of Jesus cited in Revelation 19:11-16, so filled with a view of a majestic Christ seated on a white horse with many crowns on His head, eyes of fire, and an unknown name “written on Him,” which seems to connote His ineffability.

That then led me to think of Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter, James & John present as witnesses. Interestingly, also present are Moses and Elijah; Moses the giver of the law and Elijah, the future restorer of all things (see Malachi 4:4-6). Elijah, in Jewish tradition, is invited to the yearly Passover Seder where a cup of wine is left for him (some traditions mention an unoccupied chair is set for Elijah at the Seder table). In that Judaic tradition, Elijah is expected to appear to announce Messiah’s coming and the rebuilding of the Temple). In this appearance in Mark, Jesus is described as being transfigured (Greek metemorphothe), changed into another form, and not just a change in outward appearance (see Romans 12:2 to help get the idea intended here). His garments become radiant and exceptionally white. Some commentators I referred to suggest this was Jesus in His glorified body, the way He will look when He returns visibly in power to establish His kingdom on Earth.

And why does this all occur on “a high mountain” (Mark 9:2)? There seems to be a powerful parallel here. Moses and Elijah both encountered God on His Holy Mountain (see Ex 24:12-18 and 1 Kings 19:8-18). (Note: Sinai and Horeb both are called the mountain of God and are believed by many scholars to be the same mountain.) In the Mark account, Jesus takes the three disciples up onto a high mountain also (possibly Mount Hermon northeast of Caesarea Philippi). During that encounter, Moses and Elijah are present and speaking with Jesus. The Bible says Peter offered to make booths (tents) for Jesus, Moses and Elijah because the disciples were “terrified.” God the Father then speaks commandingly out of a cloud, similar to the occasion of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist, and tells the disciples to “listen to” (obey) Jesus. The disciples then look around and Moses and Elijah are no longer present; only Jesus is left standing there. The implication is quite clear to me: Jesus has superseded the lawgiver (Moses) and the prophet (Elijah); their work here was done and Jesus alone has the authority of Heaven to proceed!

I still find myself wondering what Jesus will look like, what He will say, how He will act. Does He greet each new arriving believer in glory? I honestly can’t wait to meet Him, to praise Him, to hug and thank Him for all He does, and has done, for me and all of us. To worship Him and express my love again and again, eternally. The Bible says that all the tears in Heaven will be wiped away, but, when I see Him, I bet I’ll cry tears of love, joy and wonderment. What else can one do when you finally meet up with God Himself?!!

By:  Lee Pierce

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