appearance was changed. Though it was still Jesus, how he looked was transformed.
9:29 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his
clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. (NIV)
9:3 His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the
world could bleach them. (NIV)
face shone like the sun.
33:21-23 Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you
may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a
cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face
must not be seen." (NIV)
34:29-30 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets
of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was
radiant because he had spoken with the LORD. 30 When Aaron and all
the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid
to come near him. (NIV)
of Moses shone because he had been briefly in the presence of God,
even then only catching a glimpse of him from the back. This
certainly was a reflected glory, the source not being in Moses but
from God himself.
God in human flesh, allowed some of His glory to shine through
(Hebrews 1:3). This was not a reflected glory, but originating in who
He was. It had to have been only some, as even with Moses no earthly
man could live and see God in His entire holy splendor. Consider
other glimpses of Jesus' glory, how at a single word armed soldiers
fell to the ground when coming to arrest Him in the garden (John 18:6).
one day, many years later, see Jesus in more of His glory...
1:12-17 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me.
And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the
lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a
robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his
chest. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow,
and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze
glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing
waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his
mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun
shining in all its brilliance. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet
as though dead. (NIV)
clothes became white as light (or lightning - blinding white light)
fully righteous, perfect, and sinless. Robes of righteousness need to
be given to us, as believers (Revelation 6:11), because apart from
Jesus Christ ours are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Every saint who
will spend eternity in the presence of our Holy God will be clothed
in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (See also 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
Jesus, as he displayed his glory to his disciples, was clothed in His
own righteousness - the only man who ever could and will be. Mark
(9:3) clearly points out that this whiteness was "whiter than
anyone in the world" could be the source of - this is
Jesus displayed a bit of the majesty of God who is only light...
1:5b God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (NIV)
Pharisees, and indeed most of the people, would profess to want to
listen to the Law and the Prophets. Moses as the representative of
the law and Elijah as representative of the prophets, the phrase
"what says the law and the prophets?" could be easily said
as "what says Moses and Elijah?"
But God no
longer wants the focus to be Moses or Elijah. Note that here we see
them "talking with Jesus." It was Jesus they wanted to talk
to too, it was Jesus they looked up to, and it was Jesus that they
had longed for. Jesus, the one who was far greater than the giver of
the law or any prophet, He alone was to be the focus. Note that in
Scriptures Jesus is said to be greater than any of the things and
people that where religiously looked up too: the temple (Matthew
12:6), Jonah (Matthew 12:41, Luke 11:32), Solomon (Matthew 12:42,
Luke 11:31), Jacob (John 4:12-14), Abraham (John 8:53-59), Moses
surprise us that Moses and Elijah would be speaking with Jesus, the
One who could answer their questions, and the same questions the
angels longed to look into? How significant that they should appear
at the time of the imminent fulfillment of the very prophecies and
types they expressed so long before.
1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves
but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by
those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent
from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (NIV)
church father, John Chrysostom (ca. 347-407), holds an additional
reason why it was Moses and Elijah that spoke with Jesus.
reason is this; because the Jews were ever charging Jesus with being
a transgressor of the Law and blasphemer, and usurping to Himself the
glory of the Father, that He might prove Himself guiltless of both
charges, He brings forward those who were eminent in both
particulars; Moses, who gave the Law, and Elias, who was jealous for
the glory of God.
each individually, beginning with Moses. For all of his greatness,
and how God used Moses, Moses represented clearly the weakness of the
law. The law could show what sin was but it could not save.
3:21 For if a law had been given that could impart life, then
righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (NIV)
for all of his greatness, and how God used Elijah, he represented
clearly the weakness of the prophets of the law who could not force
external conformity regardless of all their zeal.
19:14 He replied, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God
Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down
your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the
only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too." (NIV)
was for one who would fulfill the law, and introduce a new law (the law
of love) which would work from the inside out. This was the
ultimate Prophet that Moses told the people to look for; Jesus Christ...
18:15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from
among your own brothers. You must listen to him. (NIV)
here was Moses, along with Elijah, listening to Him!
tired of the struggle, the battle, of living in this fallen world (1
Kings 19:3-4). Like Elijah, it should be noted that every believer is
involved in God's work. While we have found rest in Christ (Matthew
11:28), we don't receive the fullness of that rest until we leave
this world. It's easy for us to grow weary as well (Galatians 6:9).
This is why heaven is described as entering into God's rest.
57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as
they lie in death. (NIV)
granted entrance into that final rest in a miraculous way, being
taking directly into heaven (2 Kings 2:11). As with all saints, it
was through Jesus that Elijah could be at rest, having fellowship
with Jesus, his work finished. In contrast, Jesus' greatest work was
soon to begin.
27:46-49 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice,
"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"-which means, "My God,
my God, why have you forsaken me?" 47 When some of those
standing there heard this, they said, "He's calling Elijah."
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with
wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49
The rest said, "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes
to save him." (NIV)
that the spiritually blind people witnessing the events of the cross,
would think that Jesus was calling out to Elijah - thinking that
Elijah was somehow better or stronger or one who could save. I'm sure
that anyone who had been listening in to this conversation on the
mountain would have heard completely the opposite, as Elijah spoke
with his Savior and Lord.
to Moses, the law could not bring this great patriarch into the
it could only leave him guilty and under its' judgment. As zealous as
he was for the law, to fail to keep faith perfectly or to break any
one aspect was to be guilty under the law (James 2:10). Even as,
spiritually speaking, all Old Testament saints could only see the
Promised Land from afar, looking to what would be accomplished in the
future, Moses' life illustrated this physically.
32:48-52 On that same day the LORD told Moses, 49 "Go up into
the Abarim Range to Mount Nebo in Moab, across from Jericho, and view
Canaan, the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession.
50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die and be
gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor
and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke
faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of
Meribah Kadesh in the Desert of Zin and because you did not uphold my
holiness among the Israelites. 52 Therefore, you will see the land
only from a distance; you will not enter the land I am giving to the
people of Israel."
34:1-5 Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the
top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the
whole land - from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of
Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the western
sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the
City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "This
is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I
said, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it
with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it." 5 And
Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had
here on the mountain, in Christ, Moses came into the Promised Land.
The One to whom Moses looked in faith was the only One who could do
it, removing the offense of the law. It was on that grounds that he
could now be here talking with Jesus.
3:20-22 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by
observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of
sin. 21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been
made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This
righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who
believer throughout history we can know with assurance that we too
will physical enter that eternal Promised Land (the new heavens and
new earth; Isaiah 65:17).
19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will
stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in
my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes -
I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! (NIV)
on the mountain, showing those who had gone before alive and talking
with Jesus, also testifies to a matter that Jesus addressed at
another time. In response to the Sadducees, the humanists of their
day who believed that this life was all there is, Jesus clearly spoke
of the eternal (ongoing) life that is found in Him...
12:26-27 Now about the dead rising - have you not read in the book of
Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God
of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? 27 He is not the
God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!" (NIV)
Moses and Elijah could appear with Jesus in glorious splendor, we too
will be with Jesus eternally - we too will be changed.
9:30-31 Two men, Moses and Elijah, 31 appeared in glorious splendor,
talking with Jesus. (NIV)
Corinthians 15:52b-53 For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be
raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable
must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with