Arron Gust
January 21, 2018
Arron Gust
Pastor

Reference

Matthew 17:1-9; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Psalm 2 (anitphon: v.7); Exodus 34:29-35
Listen to Him—The Transfiguration of Our Lord

In the name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. 

Moses listened to and talked with the Lord. (Exod. 34:29) By His Word the Lord transferred His glory to Moses so that Moses face shone with the glory of the Lord. His face shone so bright that he had to veil his face. Moses’ face shone from listening to the Lord. And the shining indicated that the Lord was speaking through Moses, and thus, the Israelites should listen to him. 

For the Lord who spoke was the Glorious One from the cloud of glory. The cloud that had overshadowed the Tabernacle. (Exod. 40:35) The same cloud and darkness which overshadowed Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments from the Lord. Each of which contain both a law which judges your faithfulness, or lack thereof, and a promise by which God gives you a gift. For instance, You shall have no other God’s—this means God will be your God. You can’t worship other God’s because God has committed Himself to you. He alone has made Himself your God by freeing you of your slavery to others god. And not taking the Lord’s name in vain means that God has given you His name. Not in order to be used in some empty, frivolous way, but He has given it to you so that you might use it to call on Him in every trouble. He has placed His name you in Holy Baptism. You belong to Him. You are His. Etc. So that by each commandment He gives you blessings and promises, even as an injunction is placed upon you that judges you if you break it. Law and Gospel. 

So after receiving the Ten Commandments on the Mountain, after receiving the command to make the Tabernacle—which was a tent in which the glorious Lord on the mountain then caused His cloud of glory, in which He dwelt in the sight of all the people of Israel, to overshadow the tent. (Exod. 40:35) And the glory of the Lord filled the Tent. We heard last week how the glory of the Lord, the goodness of God is His hands and His back. (Exod. 33:19-23) For the glory of God is Jesus. His cross and suffering. His shed blood for you. His wounds in which your sins are plunged. Your doubts like Thomas’s are expunged by thrusting them in His hands and side, in the wounds of Christ. (John 20:25-29) So that Jesus was the One filling the Tent. This is who Moses talked to in the Tent and on the Mountain. To Jesus. 

For in many and various ways the Lord spoke to us of old. Through prophets. Through the ministry of the priests in the Tent. Through Moses, etc. But now in these last days He has spoken to mankind directly through His Son. (Heb 1:1-2) And for Moses simply talking to God in the Tabernacle transferred the glory of the Lord to Moses so that had to veil his face (Exod. 34:29-30), just as the glory was veiled by the Tent and the cloud, and later by flesh when Christ spoke to us humans face to face. But that word of the Lord caused Moses to shine. 

Moses had been in the presence of the Majestic Glory on the Mountain. (Exod. 34:29; 2 Pet. 1:16-17) Just as the mighty voice of God had spoken to Moses of old, terrifying the people down below (Exod. 20:18-19; Heb. 12:18-20; Ps. 29:3-9), so God the Father’s mighty voice spoke at His Son’s transfiguration confirming whom Jesus was. (Matt. 17:5; Ps. 2:7) And it terrified the disciples (Matt. 17:6) just as the voice of the Lord had at Mt Sinai of old. And at our Lord’s transfiguration Jesus shone as the sun, with the unveiled glory of the Lord. For He is the glory of the Lord. (John 1:14b) But no one can see that face, while in this sinful state here below, and live. (Exod. 33:20) Thus, the Father caused the cloud of glory to overshadow Jesus, as of old, when the cloud of glory overshadowed the Tent and Jesus filled the Tent. (Exod. 40:35) So now the tent of Christ’s flesh was filled with His own glory. Greater glory than even that of Moses' reflected glory. So that He had to be shadowed over with the cloud of glory, just as He had to be in the days of Moses. 

That is why you must listen to Him. (Matt. 17:5) For He is the God who did all those miracles in the Old Testament. He is terrifying in His might and majesty. Terrible in awe. If you have ever stepped foot on the stage of a mighty concert hall and been blown away by the power of great organ as played by a master, or held a powerful weapon in your hands and been nearly knocked off your feet by the kickback when discharged, or stood at top of Grand Canyon, or a high mountain and stared down in awe, you might have just an inkling of the power and awe of Christ in His glory. 

This is the same Christ who comes to you week by week here hidden under words, hidden under bread and wine, and water. 

This is why you must listen to Him. For the sure prophetic word—the word of the Father which they heard on the mountain (Matt. 17:5; 2 Pet. 1:17-18), which confirmed the prophecies of the Old Testament (Psalm 2:7, etc.)—is not a fairytale. (2 Pet. 1:16) It is not a made up story for children. This is the God who has intervened in human history. Who has saved His people. Who has sent His Son. In our flesh. A God walking among us. Hiding Himself as one of us. Come to be King of all. To rule us in grace. To judge evil and unbelief. To call a spade a spade and make no bones about it that sin is sin. It will be judged. But the glory of the Lord is not to judge sin, but rather to cast away sin. To remove it from you. To suffer in His flesh for it. To be wounded for your transgression, struck for your iniquities. (Isa. 53:4-5) To shoulder the burdens that life pours down on you terrifying you. Making you weep with sorrow, sadness, and frustration that you can not change whatever is wrong in your life or life of those you love. So listen to Him, in faith, and be saved. Or reject Him in unbelief and on the Last Day you will see the unveiled glory of God to your destruction. Repent. 

So in repentant joy kiss the Son. (Ps. 2:12) For He is just. He will judge the unbelieving nations with a rod of iron. (Ps. 2:9) The sword coming out of His mouth will smite them. (Rev. 19:15) The sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17) For the Word of God cuts both ways. (Heb. 4:12) It either smites your conscience and creates faith in you, or it smites you in unbelief, confirming your unbelief. But it works. (Isa. 55:10-11) It works with strength. (Rom. 10:16-17; Isa. 53:1) Don’t doubt that the Word of the Lord ever goes forth from His mouth without accomplishing that for which He sends it. (Isa. 55:10-11) Don’t doubt that it ever goes forth from Him, through you, without accomplishing that for which He sends it. We’re in a judgmental, sensitive age. We’re often afraid to speak our faith. Or even to speak our mind. Many of us have been overly harsh in the past. Not realizing that us speaking our piece wasn’t always done in grace and truth but rather just to spit our own opinion all over everyone else. But whether you are one who always seemed to be offending others or has been afraid to speak, be assured that whether you are afraid to speak God’s Word, because it seems to be of no effect in this day, or people get so offended by it, don’t worry about that. For the glory of the Lord was transferred to Moses by speaking with the Lord face to face. The glory of the Lord terrified those who saw it. Even the 3 disciples fell down in terror, till the cloud of glory overshadowed Jesus, saving them from His glorious face. But the Father indicated the truth. He is the Father’s beloved Son. (Mat. 17:5; Ps. 2:7) Listen to Him. For how is the saving glory of the Lord be transferred to you and others? By words. Words of Gospel. Simple words like, “Your sins are forgiven on account of Christ." Like John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but be saved.” Words. Not hard words. The words of Jesus. Words of grace. Words of truth. Not of God, in general, but of Jesus specifically. For He is the saviour of the world. And faith is not in a generic “god” but specifically in His Son. That faith saves. (Rom. 10:10-13) And that Word goes out. It does what it will do. For the Lord will be gracious to whom He will be gracious. (Exod. 33:19) To the salvation of many. 

In +Jesus’ name, Amen. 

 

—Pastor David Haberstock
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Regina, SK