Transformation through the Transfiguration Continued…
As the Lord Jesus Christ was transfigured, revealing His glory to these three disciples who were alone by themselves with Jesus there appeared with Jesus in glory Moses and Elijah. Both of these Old Testament Saints were mightily used by God in their days. Both of these servants had mountain top experiences with the Lord. Now they appear with the Saviour and are talking with Him. The subject matter of their conversation is revealed in the Gospel of Luke chapter 9.
We can understand the focal point of Heaven as this conversation unfolds. These men speak of Jesus’ decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. Heaven is focused upon the work of Jesus Christ upon the Mountain called Calvary.
Consider Jesus Accomplishment: For this very purpose Jesus had come into the world. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (I Timothy 1:15) The Lord Jesus entered into time to give Himself a ransom for the sins of the whole world. This was salvation’s plan laid out from before the foundation of the world. Now in the fullness of time in the end of the world Jesus Christ came forth to fulfill all of the Old Testament prophecies and to lay down His life for His friends. This is the culmination of His work here upon this earth. This was the cup of the Father that He would drink. This was the demonstration of the very love of God that He would die for the ungodly. The greatest transaction of all eternity would take place in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ would take upon Him the sins of the whole world and would accomplish the great work of propitiation and expiation upon the cross of Calvary. He would endure the suffering of the cross, despise the shame, and would be victorious over sin, death, and hell arising as an overcomer and would be seated in glory at the right hand of the Father.
Decease ἔξοδον (Luke 9:31):
Consider the word decease which Moses and Elijah spoke of. This word is the word for exodus. This means the way off the path, the way out, the departure. It is a compound of two Greek words, one being ek, meaning out. The other word is odos meaning way, road, or journey. As for now the Lord Jesus Christ was still within the bounds of time walking the path that the God had planned for Him. This pathway would lead Him to the mount called Calvary in Jerusalem. Jesus knew that this time was approaching and he did not shrink back from it. Man in his lust for self-preservation would walk the other direction, but not the Saviour. His mind was set like a flint. He would go to Jerusalem and go all the way to the exodus off the path. He would complete the will of the Father. Peter spoke of the mind of Christ in suffering in His epistles. His mind was set upon not fulfilling His own will but rather the will of the Father. Peter would have persuaded the Lord otherwise, but the Lord rebuked him, calling him Satan.
And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men. And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. (Mark 8:31-35)
The Lord Jesus must accomplish these things. He must suffer, be rejected, be killed, and rise again. This was the gospel plan, “…Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures…” (1Co 15:3-4). The Lord would not step off the path until His decease. The Lord Jesus did deny Himself, take up His cross, and walked to Golgotha where He was crucified.
Peter again would intervene for the Lord Jesus:
And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? (Mat 26:50-54) It must be that the Lord walk the road that was planned for Him.
This decease was the focal point of Heaven as these men spoke with Christ upon the mountain. This was what God savoured, for after all it is not His will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. God delighted and desired to bring about the way of salvation through the death of His Son. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:8-10)
This decease was not Jesus’ demise but rather this death which He died would become the greatest victory. This would be the greatest accomplishment for by it, the Captain of Salvation would become perfect through sufferings and He would bring many sons unto glory. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Accomplish πληροῦν (Luke 9:31):
Another insightful word that is used to speak of the exodus that would take place in Jerusalem is used by Moses and Elijah. They use the word accomplish. This is not a normal word for a person’s death. This is an action word. It implies that Jesus Christ was in complete control over His death. Normally when we speak of a person’s death we speak of it in a manner in which they had no control. Death happens to people. Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war….
Not so for Jesus, He would accomplish His death and through His death the greatest transaction in History would be finished. The Lord Jesus could have stopped His death at any moment. He could presently have called twelve legions of angels and ended the sufferings of Calvary. Jesus willingly laid down His life by His death. He accomplished His death.
This word means to fulfill, to complete, to make full, to bring to realization, or to consummate. Jesus’ death fulfilled all of God’s salvation plan. It completed the propitiation for the sins of the entire world. It filled up that which was needed for the fountain of cleansing for the sins of every man who had ever lived. It brought to realization the greatest and final sacrifice which would take away the sins of the world. It consummated the salvation plan of God which for all eternity will allow sinners to dwell in glory with everlasting life with God forever.
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:15)
Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: (Gal 1:4)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Eph 5:25)
Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1Ti 2:6)
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Tit 2:14)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (Joh 15:13)
As we consider the accomplishment of Christ at Calvary we see the love of Jesus Christ displayed in providing the way of salvation for whosoever that would call upon the name of the Lord. We see the complete control that Jesus had over His death as He allowed man to crucify Him.
The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:4-7)
The focus of Heaven spoken about upon this mount of Transfiguration was upon the exodus out of this life and the accomplishment that would take place upon the cross.
As a believer in Jesus Christ are you thankful for what the death of Jesus Christ accomplished in your own life? Do you worship Him for what He has done for you?
As an unbeliever in Jesus Christ, you must realize what Jesus Christ accomplished for you upon the cross. He paid for your sins and gave Himself for you. He invites you to come to Him for salvation, to receive the gift of salvation by grace through your faith. Are you willing to repent of the sin which Jesus paid for upon the cross and are you willing to call upon the Lord Jesus Christ to be the Saviour of your soul?