Skip to content

Transfiguration

Remember Me

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.”

Peter answered and said to Jesus, 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. Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.

Behold, a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

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.

Jesus AloneLifting 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.

As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Don’t tell anyone what you saw, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”

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, a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for God’s Kingdom:

Transfiguration: Remember Me

Jim-Corner.png

Transfiguration: Remember Me

Jim-Corner.png
With Me in Paradise

Remember MeTransfigurationIf 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.

Remember Me

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.

With Me

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.

Darkness

In the crucifixion scene, darkness comes over the whole earth. In the transfiguration scene, a bright cloud overshadows all of them.

The curtain of the temple is torn in two. A doorway is being opened. Peter offers to build tents, a strong connection to the curtain. Jesus cries out, and dies.

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.

Father and Son

In the transfiguration story, God the Father says, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”

The centurion, guarding Jesus, begins to testify. Certainly (truly) this was a righteous man. The words of Jesus live and breath within the centurion, even though Jesus himself is dead.

What I find fascinating is that the story doesn’t end here. We can see it continue, in spiritual form.

The Guard

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.

Watching

Jesus AloneThe transfiguration story continues, and the disciples look up and see Jesus alone. Jesus acquaintances and the women who follow him stand and watch all that is happening.

They can see his body, but they cannot see him. His spirit is not there. It is ascending into heaven and entering the holy city, just like Moses and Elijah in the transfiguration scene.

High Place

As they are coming down from the mountain, Jesus tells his disciples not to tell anyone what they saw until he has risen from the dead. Then comes a man named Joseph who is waiting and looking for the Kingdom of God. The mountain is the Kingdom.

The connection 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: