Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
On Sunday of the Transfiguration we often think about how Jesus has changed our world, how He uses us as agents of change, how we are personally changed into His image, and other similar ideas. These are well and good, make no mistake. However, I question whether they are the main point of the event, recorded for us in Luke 9:28-36. To dig into that, I’d like to ask what Jesus was talking with Moses and Elijah about. Actually, as I let you peek behind the curtain of my writing just a little bit, let’s revise that careless statement. I’d like to ask what Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about. That’s where the focus is.
Moses and Elijah were talking with Jesus about “his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (v. 31b, ESV). This is a very literal translation of the Greek. However, the word “accomplish” might have more of a sense of “fulfill.” In fact, that’s the word which is used, but it doesn’t make very good English. Jesus is about to go to Jerusalem and from there he will complete his journey and fulfill his purpose. In a certain sense, his earthly work will have been accomplished. This doesn’t mean, of course, that there’s nothing else to be done. After all, he continues to use his people and to work in them, changing them into his image. Yet the essence of what he came to do - living a perfectly sinless life, dying in the place of sinners, and rising again from the dead - all that is accomplished. There’s nothing more to be done. That’s what Jesus was talking about when, on the cross, he said “it is finished.”
I encourage you, in this season when we remember Jesus, transfigured, shining bright, to give thanks to him for knowing his mission and completing it. Truly, he accomplished his departure. We have no need to worry about anything being forgotten, because he has done every last step needed for us and for our salvation, to purchase our forgiveness, and the forgiveness of the whole world.
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