If you could go back in time and meet any person in history, who would it be? Jesus, of course! But who else? Among biblical characters, I’d love to meet the prophet, Ezekiel. Outside the pages of Scripture, I would choose to meet the poet John Milton, author of Paradise Lost.
On the Mount of Transfiguration (likely Mount Hermon), two characters from biblical history were chosen to meet the Messiah. One represented the prophets—Elijah— and one represented the Law—Moses (see Mal. 4:4–6). Jesus had gone up the mountain to pray, taking with Him His inner circle of Peter, James, and John. Suddenly, His glory as the Son of God was revealed in an overpowering outpouring of light and splendor.
Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus (vv. 30–31). About what? “His departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.” The Greek word for “departure” here is “exodos”—yes, as in Moses and the exodus! This expression here indicates Jesus’ redemptive death, which He was knowingly approaching. God was in control, bringing to fulfillment His plan of salvation. Moses and Elijah—and presumably all of heaven—knew at least the basics of the plan, and had no doubt been watching it unfold with great anticipation. As mentioned, they stood for the Law and the Prophets— Jesus was about to fulfill the entire Old Testament!
When the cloud of glory descended and the Father affirmed the Son (vv. 34–35), Peter, James, and John were witnessing the same sign of God’s presence that had descended so many times when God and Moses spoke “face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Ex. 33:11). All three disciples kept this experience to themselves until after Jesus’ ascension, as He instructed (v. 36; Matt. 17:9).
>> Peter later wrote about being “eyewitnesses of his majesty” on that day (2 Peter 1:16–18). One day, we will be, too! How we long for that time to come and to be in His presence forevermore!
Your glory is overpowering, Your holiness incomparable. We worship You, our powerful and righteous God! You are the Creator and the Redeemer, the Beginning and the End. You speak, and Creation listens.