Thursday, February 4, 2016
What's your favorite miracle?
I'm guessing the Transfiguration probably wasn't the first thing that came to mind. We don't typically think of the Transfiguration as one of Jesus' miracles. But it is a very important one, and one that points us ahead to the greatest miracle of all.
Jesus' miracles are always done for a reason - and they are always done in love. His heart reaches out to people, he's filled with care and compassion, touched by human sorrow. He sees the terror on the faces of the men in the sinking boat, or the distress on the face of the father who's lost his only child, or the hoarse cry of the lepers, begging for help. His great love and mercy is behind every one of His miracles.
So we come to the Transfiguration, the miracle of metamorphosis, as we witness Jesus pulling back the curtain for a moment in order to show us His heavenly glory. We see Him shining like the sun in all His radiant splendor on the mountain top with Moses and Elijah. And as we hear the voice of God the Father, we wonder what this miracle meant to the three men who were there to witness it, and what it means for us today as well. "This is my beloved Son - Listen to Him!"
This incredible experience on the mountain was not for Jesus' sake. It was for the disciples - and for us. The glory that lit up the sky on Mt. Tabor is the same glory Jesus comes to bring us, the same glory He will give to us on the day of Resurrection. The glory of His body will some day be our own.
In order for that to happen, Jesus has to come down from the mountain and begin to walk up another. From Mt. Tabor to Mt. Calvary. From Transfiguration to Tetellestai. From "This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased" to "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
That's how Jesus will bring glory to our bodies - by rescuing us from death and sin, by trading places with us, by taking our shame, by dying lost and alone. Dying our death to give us his life. Bearing our shame to give us his glory.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the transformation that changes everything. It changes how we view our lives. It changes how we face our own suffering and death. It changes how we see God and how we treat other people. It changes us from the inside out.
This changes everything.