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“The Transfiguration”
by Morning Meditation   
December 8th, 2008

Jesus, wearied with His toils and requiring time for private intercourse with His friends to prepare them for the approaching tragedy, of which they were strangely unconscious, He traveled northward with His disciples, avoiding the larger towns, until they reached one of the smaller villages nestling on the lower slopes of Mount Hermon, which towers into the clouds and forms a majestic barrier on the northern frontier of Palestine. There they seem to have rested for about a week. Think how they may have spent those days! Watching the snows on the upper peaks flush in the dawn and glow in the sunset, as if aflame. Reveling in the fertility, which centuries before had been compared to the fragrant oil anointing the high priest. Visiting the ancient forest of cedars from which Hiram's servants had hewn the beams of Solomon's temple; or the mountain springs, where the familiar Jordan had its source. A week would quickly pass amid engagements such as these, blended, as they must have been, with intercourse on the loftiest themes.

After eight days, Jesus took with Him His three mighties -- Peter, James, and John; and as the evening shadows darkened over the world, He led them up to some neighboring summit, removed from the sight and sound of men. He went to brace Himself for the coming conflict by prayer, and perhaps for the earlier part of the night the favored three bore Him fellowship. But they soon grew weary, and presently, as afterward in Gethsemane, were wrapt in heavy sleep -- though dimly conscious of their Master's presence as He poured out His soul with strong cryings and tears. We know not how many hours elapsed before they were suddenly startled from their slumbers -- not by the gentle touch of morning light, but beneath the stroke of the unbearable glory which streamed from their Master's person, The fashion of His countenance was altered; the deep lines of care that had seamed it were obliterated; the look of pensive sadness was gone. "His face did shine as the sun;" not lit up as that of Moses was, by reflection from without, but illumined from within, as if the hidden glory of the Shekinah, too long concealed, were bursting through the veil of flesh, kindling it to radiance as it passed. "His raiment" -- the common homespun of the country -- "was white and glistering;" more resplendent than the glistening snow above, as though angels had woven {177} it of light. But perhaps the greatest marvel of all was the presence of the august pair "which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory and spake of his decease [His exodus -- out of death into new and resurrection life] which he should accomplish at Jerusalem" (Luke 9:30-31). - F. B. Meyer

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