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“Reasons Elijah was chosen for the translation”
by Morning Meditation   
December 9th, 2008

THE FIRST REASON MIGHT HAVE BEEN THAT THEY COULD ATTEST THE DIGNITY OF THE LORD JESUS. He was approaching the darkest hour of His career when His sun should set in an ocean of ignominy and shame, and it seemed as if heaven itself were astir, by delegation, to assure His friends and convince the world of His intrinsic worth. Should seraphs be commissioned? Nay; for men, unable to realize their rank, would be simply dazzled. Better far to send back someone of the human family who had passed into the unseen, but whose illustrious deeds still lived in the memory of mankind, giving weight to his witness. Yet who should be selected?

There might have been a fitness in sending the first Adam to attest the supreme dignity of the second, or Abraham, the father of them that believe. But their claims were waived in favor of these two who might have more weight with the men of that time, as representing the two great departments of Jewish thought and Scripture: Moses, the founder of the Law; Elijah, the greatest of the prophets.

It is impossible to exaggerate the prominence given to Elijah in the Jewish mind. At the circumcision of a child, a seat was always placed for Elijah; and at the annual celebration of the Passover in each home, wine was {178} placed for him to drink -- the cup for which richer Jews, was made of gold and set with jewels. And it was universally believed that Elijah was to come again to announce the advent of the Messiah. It would, therefore, have great weight with these disciples, and through them with after ages, to feel that he had stood beside Jesus of Nazareth, offering Him homage and help. And it was partly the memory of the allegiance rendered by Elijah to his Master that led Peter to say, in after years, that he had been an eyewitness of His majesty. - F. B. Meyer

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