I absolutely love the truths contained in the transfiguration on the mount. It paints such a clear picture of grace, one of the clearest perhaps.
Mark 9:2-8 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah” — 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid. 7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves. (NKJV)
Moses and Elijah appears with Jesus. Who are they, or what do they represent? Moses represents the Law while Elijah represents the prophets. What did Jesus say about the law and the prophets?
Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. (NKJV)
The disciples saw that the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah) appeared to grace (Jesus). After that, they only saw Jesus, only grace. The law and the prophets are fulfilled in grace, and that’s why they disappeared. There was no more need for the law and its righteous requirements because Jesus fulfilled the righteous requirements of it completely. There was also no more need for the prophets to prophesy His coming for He had arrived.
Matt 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. (NKJV)
Why until John? Because he announced the Messiah is here. All the other prophets of old spoke of the Messiah to come. So when John said, ‘He is here’, the prophets of old got fulfilled. Back to the transfiguration; when the disciples saw Jesus, Moses and Elijah in their glorified state, they wanted to erect 3 tabernacles. A tabernacle is a place of worship. So what the disciples were actually saying was, “Let us worship the Law, the prophets and Grace. Let’s balance the 3 and give equal honour to all of them.” At that moment, God spoke from heaven to them and said, “This is My beloved Son, Hear Him!” Why did God say, ‘Hear Him?’ The word ‘hear’ means listen to, understand and give an audience to. So God was basically telling them “Listen to Grace, understand Grace, only give an audience to Grace. Don’t listen to the law, don’t listen to the prophets of doom and gloom, hear my Son, hear Grace.”
The moment God said that, Moses and Elijah disappeared and they were left alone with Jesus. That shows that you can’t worship the law, the prophets and Jesus together. They can’t be balanced. They can’t be equally honoured. On their own, each is so glorious and holy that man’s first instinct is to worship all of them, but God made it clear that only Jesus should be given an audience. The law is holy and glorious, and when you see it you will be inclined to uphold it. But when you see Jesus, the law disappears for He upholds it for you. When you hear the prophets, you hear the holy and glorious voice of the law speaking out against every transgression of the law. When you hear their voice, you will be inclined to uphold the law again. But when you see Jesus, the voices of the prophets are silenced for He fulfills them. In Jesus, there is no need to worship the law or the prophets. Only worship Jesus, only give an audience to Him, only listen to Him.
What do you hear if you give an audience to the law? “You are my beloved son, look at everything you are doing wrong.” This will only bring guilt. What do you hear when listen to the prophets? “You are my beloved son, I am judging you for everything you have done wrong.” That only brings condemnation. What do you hear when you give an audience to Jesus? The same thing God said about Jesus. “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” ‘Well pleased’ means this: You are approved, you are my good pleasure, I only think well of you.” In those words there is no room for guilt or condemnation. In Christ, there is no more need to give an audience to guilt or condemnation! In Christ you are God’s GOOD PLEASURE!
Praise His Name!