Have you ever had a day that was so wonderful that you wanted it to last forever? I am sure you probably have. Maybe it was Christmas or your birthday, and you were having so much fun, you didn’t want it to ever end. Did you know that Jesus’ disciples had days like that too? Our Bible lesson today from Mark 9:2-9 is about one of those days. It’s called the Transfiguration of Jesus, and we celebrate it this Sunday (Transfiguration Sunday). Transfiguration may be a new word to you, but it is a big word that means to be suddenly changed in form or appearance into a more beautiful or spiritual state. That is exactly what happened to Jesus in these verses.
About a week earlier, Jesus had told His disciples that He was going to be killed and rise again after three days. They didn’t understand what He was saying. Surely, not their Jesus; how could this be? So Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up onto a mountain to pray six days later. He did this because He wanted them to better understand who He really was. As Jesus was praying there, something very strange happened. The Bible says that the appearance of Jesus’ face began to change, and His clothing became shining white – whiter than anyone on earth could make them. Then, Moses and Elijah from the Old Testament appeared with Jesus. The disciples were afraid, but when Peter saw this, he was so excited in his fear that he told Jesus he thought that they should just stay there on the mountain and build three tents — one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Suddenly, a cloud came and covered them all. God’s voice came from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, the one I love. Obey Him.” The disciples looked again, but now they saw only Jesus there alone with them. Moses and Elijah were gone.
When Peter offered to build the tents, He didn’t understand that this wonderful experience on the mountain was not a stopping place to stay; it was a starting place to begin. It was the starting place for God’s greatest gift: His own Son who came as the gift of salvation for each of us. Later on, following what happened on the mountain, Jesus did die on the cross, was buried, and rose from the grave just like He said. Jesus did this so that you and I could have eternal life in heaven.
God sends a lot of happy days into our lives. The day that we accept Jesus as our Savior is without a doubt the happiest day of our life, but it isn’t a stopping place either, It is a starting point for a journey that leads to eternal life in heaven with Him – a life of being loved and accepted and forgiven by Him and a life of loving and serving Him back. Isn’t that a wonderful idea that each day can be so wonderful because of having Christ in our lives!
Let’s say a prayer to thank Him for doing that for us. Dear Father, we thank You for all of the happy days that You send our way, but most of all, we thank You for the happiest day — the day we met Jesus and invited Him into our heart. That is the beginning of an awesome life in You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
By the way, this Sunday is Valentine’s Day too. Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you. You make my heart glad!
Ann Moody is a retired pastor, formerly of the Wilkesville First Presbyterian Church and the Middleport First Presbyterian Church. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.