After six days, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them up into a high mountain by themselves. He was changed before them. His face shone like the sun, and his garments became as white as the light.
He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
Behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him.
Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
A stone; a rock.
Source: EDBN answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you want, let’s make three tents here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them.
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”
When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces, and were very afraid. Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and don’t be afraid.”
All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts.
Lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.
All his acquaintances and the women who followed with him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.
Behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man (he had not consented to their counsel and deed), from Arimathaea ( ar-im-ath-e’-ah)
Lofty or high place.
Source: EDBN, a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for God’s Kingdom:
Transfiguration: Remember Me
Transfiguration: Remember Me
If Strings let us see beyond death, it’s only fitting to step through death itself. The scene of Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:42 is a great example. One of the thieves crucified with Christ asks Jesus to “remember me.” Let’s look at these two passages, side by side.
Jesus is on the cross, at about the halfway point of his crucifixion. One of the two thieves says to him, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
The transfiguration scene shows Jesus coming into his Kingdom. He brings his followers up, to a great high mountain. He is transfigured before them. The mountain is his kingdom.
Jesus promises the thief, “truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Jesus doesn’t say, “someday you might be with me in Paradise.” Or, after I’m resurrected I’ll come and get you. He says, “today” you will be with me, on the day of his death.
The transfiguration scene shows the fulfillment of this promise. Suddenly, people start appearing, talking with Jesus. In particular, Moses and Elijah. This tells us that Jesus’ promises extend backwards, to the people of the Old Testament, just as much as the promises extend forward, to us today.
Then, darkness comes over the whole earth. The curtain of the temple is torn in two. A doorway is being opened. In the transfiguration scene, a bright cloud overshadows all of them.
There appears to be a strong connection between Peter’s offer to build tents, and the curtain of the temple. It may also be that these words belong in the next spot, where Jesus cries out. Perhaps the temple in heaven connects to a temple on earth, separated by death.
Father and Son
Finally, Jesus cries out “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.” In the transfiguration story, God the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
This gives an important clue as to how all of this works. It is Jesus’ spirit that goes before us, into Heaven, to prepare a place. It is his Spirit that goes through death and into eternal life.
What I find fascinating is that the story doesn’t end here. We can see it continue, in spiritual form.
The centurion, guarding Jesus, begins to testify. Truly this was a righteous man. The disciples freak out and fall on their faces, afraid. Jesus touches them and says, “Get up, do not be afraid.” Jesus’ dead body is still hanging on the cross.
It seems impossible that Jesus would speak to his disciples, much less touch them, while he is dead. But, that seems to be entirely possible. Jesus says that heaven and earth will pass away, but his word will not. You may think it a stretch for me to say this, but his words can touch us, and can become part of us. Even when he appears to be dead. His body is dead. He is not.
The transfiguration story continues, and the disciples look up and see Jesus alone. The multitudes see what is happening and return home. Those who follow, stand at a distance, watching these things.
They can see his body, but they cannot see him. His spirit is not there. It is returning home, just like these multitudes. Just like Moses and Elijah.
Jesus has passed through death, into new life. He holds the keys to eternal life, which he offers to us. He has entered his Kingdom. As a result, the throne is his, and it will last forever.
In addition, the connection between these two passages grows stronger looking at the name of the city Joseph is from. Arimathea means, “high place.” Like a great and high mountain. Arimathea is a city of the Jews, like, perhaps, the city of Light of Revelation. Where Jesus’ face shines like the sun.
Through death, Jesus’ spirit comes into an eternal city. So, let’s compare the transfiguration with the City of Light in Revelation. Click the right arrow, or the “City of Light” link below to continue.
To explore these passages directly, click this button: