Have you ever seen something transform from one thing into another? What was it?
Matthew’s gospel tells us a story about Jesus that happened before he would die on the cross. It’s called the story of the Transfiguration. Can you say transfiguration?
Transfiguration is a fancy word that means change. Here’s how Matthew describes Jesus’ transfiguration:
Matthew 17:1-8. And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” 8 And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
On the mountain top, Jesus’ disciples got to see something truly amazing. They saw Jesus changed into bright light, shining with all the glory of God. They saw Jesus glow. They heard God talk about Jesus and how much he loves him. How cool is that? And in just a few days they will see Jesus on another mountain top. But this time he will be on a cross dying for our sins. There will be no bright lights on that mountain top. And God will be silent as Jesus dies for us.
But that’s why God took Jesus up on the mountain to be transfigured FIRST, before he died on the cross, so that we would know that God the Father loves Jesus the Son, and so we would know that when Jesus dies on the cross it would please God very much. Why? Because Jesus would be dying for you and for me. And God loves you and me. Jesus’ death on the cross, though terrible, will please God because it is the only way to save us, and the best way to show how glorious God is.
And do you know what? Transfiguration doesn’t just happen to Jesus. The Bible says that everyone who believes in Jesus is also transfigured from the inside – out. Jesus changes us!
2 Corinthians 3:18. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transfigured into the same image [as Jesus].
When we know how much Jesus loves us it will change how we feel inside, and how we think, and how we treat each other too. God’s love inside of us is changing you and me into God’s bright light in a dark world.
Because of Jesus we are being changed by God’s love for us.
With Jesus we can glow with God’s love for others today.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Find a video of a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis (see below). Talk about how God changes us slowly to be like Jesus.
Change me into your likeness by your love.
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