Matthew 17:3 – YOU ARE INVITED?
Abraham: “Alright everyone. I have just been in conference with the Father. Jesus has already told His disciples that He is the Messiah.” A cheer goes up. “Yes, this is a high point in His life and so it’s not surprising that He has chosen a mountain to pray about how all this will unfold in the future when He goes to Jerusalem. As you can see, He has taken Peter, James and John with Him.” They look at Jesus climbing the mountain with His disciples and there is silence as they reflect on what Jesus must face soon in Jerusalem. “This is going to be a miraculous night and the exciting thing is that some of us are going to be included on the guest list.” There is a collective intake of breath that makes the mountain air even thinner for a moment.
“Yes, two of us can go as representatives. We have been asked to make suggestions as to who can be included and who will not. It’s not going to be easy, but doing the right thing is important as you can all appreciate. There’s no room for bruised feelings here. Everyone of us hopes it will be us, but there’s just not enough room on that mountain to accommodate us all.”
“So who would you invite?”
Noah: “I think it should be Adam and Eve. After all Jesus is the last Adam. The Scriptures will testify that “just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NLT). They would have to go clothed of course.
Abraham: “A good choice. Any other suggestions?”
The Prophet Joel: “We need someone who will shine in the radiance of Jesus. Maybe some angels. Angels carry His light. After the resurrection there is going to be a great earthquake and an angel of the Lord will come down from heaven and roll aside the stone, and sit on it. His face will shine like lightning, and his clothing will be as white as snow. The guards will shake with fear when they see him, and they will fall into a dead faint” (Matthew 28:2-4 NLT).
Abraham: “Great suggestion but no. The Father specifically wants two of us this time, not the angels. Love the idea of connecting this with the theme of light, though.”
The prophet Amos: “Well, if we want someone to reflect the radiance of Jesus what about Stephen. Stephen’s face shone before he was martyred. Everyone in the high council stared at Stephen, because his face became as bright as an angel’s” (Acts 6:15 NLT). He literally reflected the light of Christ, the colours of grace.”
Abraham: “Another great choice. But you forget. Stephen hasn’t even become a Christian yet. What you are seeing is in the future. We will need someone from the past; the Old Testament saints must be the ones to represent us.
All sorts of suggestions come. “What about you, Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation?” Some say Isaac and Jacob? Others say David, whose throne Jesus inherits forever? What about Noah, Joseph, Nehemiah, Daniel? So many others were suggested but all of a sudden they are quiet again. They all know the guest list is limited to two.
Abraham: “We don’t seem to be getting very far, here. Perhaps we ought to be asking ‘Who would Jesus choose? This is His day, not ours. Not the disciples. Not what the people want. Bottom line, who would He want to be there?” All are quiet for a moment.
Elisha: “Well, Jesus has already told His disciples about prophecies about His death being fulfilled and even after His resurrection He will tell them again “…everything written about Me in the law of MOSES AND THE PROPHETS …must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44 NLT). So maybe Moses and one of the prophets could go? Moses face shone when he came down from the mountain with the tablets of the law of God so that fits. He wrote the Pentateuch.”
Joshua: “That makes sense. “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10 NLT). He could hand to Jesus the Old Covenant and Jesus could usher in the New Covenant by handing it on to the disciples.” Everybody is keen about Moses being one of their representatives.
Abraham: “OK, that’s one. Moses the giver of the law and leader in the exodus. That also relates well to the exodus Jesus must face. Who else?”
Malachi speaks up: “I don’t think we have to look any further. I think I know who it is. God told me once “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives.” (Malachi 4:5 NLT). Who better than Elijah, guardian of the law. He has been in the mountain and heard the whisper of God. Elijah came to us in a whirlwind without tasting death. He connects us to the resurrection in the future.”
Suddenly a light as bright as the sun appears on the mountain. Their attention is drawn immediately to Jesus. The Father has made His choice and “then two men, Moses and Elijah, appear and begin talking with Jesus. They are glorious to see. And they are speaking about His exodus from this world, which is about to be FULFILLED in Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:30-31 NLT).
Oh, and you are invited too, retrospectively into His presence then, now and always. But you’ll need to RSVP by responding in faith to Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:6-18 (NLT) says “… The old way, with laws etched in stone, led to death, though it began with such glory that the people of Israel could not bear to look at Moses’ face. For HIS FACE SHONE with the glory of God, even though the brightness was already fading away. …If the old way, which brings condemnation, and was replaced, was glorious, HOW MUCH MORE GLORIOUS is the new way, WHICH MAKES US RIGHT WITH GOD AND REMAINS FOREVER! … WHENEVER SOMEONE TURNS TO THE LORD, THE VEIL IS TAKEN AWAY. … SO ALL OF US WHO HAVE HAD THAT VEIL REMOVED CAN SEE AND REFLECT THE GLORY OF THE LORD. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as WE ARE CHANGED INTO HIS GLORIOUS IMAGE.”