Speaking Of His Exodus
Series: An Eschatological Mix
SPEAKING OF HIS EXODUS
All of the synoptic gospels record the transfiguration of Jesus (Mt.17:1f; Mk.9:2f and Lk.9:28f). Taking along Peter, James and John, Jesus climbed a high mountain in order to spend time together in prayer. While praying, the face of Jesus became different and His clothing became white and gleaming (Lk.9:29). Moses and Elijah appeared and were talking with Jesus. During this time the apostles were overcome with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him (Lk.9:32). Peter's quickly offered to erect three tabernacles (memorial booths) - - one for Moses, Elijah and Jesus. While Peter was saying this, a voice from the cloud proclaimed, This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to HIM' (Mt.17:5). Matthew records that the disciples fell on their faces and were much afraid (Mt.17:6). Jesus touched them and urged them to not be be afraid. All at once they looked around and (they) saw no one with them any more, except Jesus alone (Mk.9:8).
While the gospel accounts of Matthew and Mark both record that Moses and Elijah were “talking” with Jesus, only Luke's account discloses that Moses and Elijah were speaking of His departure (Lk.9:31a). In the text, the actual word rendered departure is the Greek word exodus. Were they discussing the Lord's upcoming crucifixion? Were they conversing regarding Jesus' post-crucifixion ascension? Both were accomplished in Jerusalem (Lk.9:31b). Could it be that the focus of their conversation was broader still - - a rehearsal of the work of Jesus as a high priest after the order of Melchizedek who ascended back to the Father to secure man's salvation during Israel's last days. cf. Heb.5:5-10. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews elaborates on this thought by depicting Jesus as One who enters within the veil as a forerunner to facilitate the establishment of a better covenant. cf. Heb.6:19-20; 7:26f and 8:6-7 & 13.
We dare not miss the emphasis given to the work of Jesus behind the second veil (the Holy of Holies/Heb.9:3f). Yes, by means of the cross Jesus died for our sins, however His atoning work was not finalized until He returned to bless the people. cf. Lev.9:22. According to Hebrews, at the consummation of the ages (Jesus) was manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb.9:26). His second appearing for salvation would be made to those eagerly awaiting and it would be done without reference to sin (Heb.9:28). In other words, His returning to His people would indicate that His atoning work would have been completed and accepted by God. However, before His highly antici-pated return one thing remained - - the putting of His enemies under His feet (Heb.10:13). In the closing chapter of his epistle to the Romans, Paul declared, the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (cf. Rom.16:20 with Heb.10:37). These details from the epistle to the Hebrews dovetail perfectly with Jesus' promise in Jn.14:3 - - If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Terry Siverd / Cortland Church of Christ