1 – Mark 9:2-8 (ESV) 2And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them. 4And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.
RAF: It is at this point religion and Christianity part ways. If we miss this, we miss the most important of all distinctions and truths. Jesus was not, IS not another Moses. Moses, was merely a “type” (picture of ahead of time) of Christ. Jesus was not, IS not another Elijah. Elijah was merely another “type” (picture of ahead of time) of Christ. While Moses represents the giving of the Law upon Sinai, Christ IS the holiness (the life of God) the Law is based upon. He is the substance of the shadow. While Elijah represents the prophets, Christ IS the Word. He does not come to give a new word from God, He comes to BE that which all of what God had said to date was pointing to and saying.
Note that it is confused thinking on this point that leads to syncretism with other religions. If we merely see Christ as a new lawgiver, we can syncretize with the Jewish religion. If we see Christ as merely a new prophet, we can syncretize with Islam and a host of cults as well. Jesus Christ must be seen as He truly is – GOD. If He is any less, if He is marginalized in any way – we lose the very essence of Christianity. Christians are those who worship Jesus Christ as God. They are not only that, so as to prevent us from over simplifying – but we are at LEAST that from our foundation.
“This”, is God’s “beloved Son.” Whatever else we’ve heard, whomever else we have heard – we must give precedence to and listen to – Him. In fact, we can only truly understand what any of the others have said when we have Christ in His rightful place. As “Truth” – He is what interprets all things. Unless Christ Jesus is at the center of everything, nothing truly makes complete sense. It can have order or coherency on some level, but not ultimately. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:7-10 (ESV) Here is one of those sweeping statements of cosmic and eternal focus in God – that God has “as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him.” The statement is not such that it admits of no other features – as though could not have multiple ends in view. It does not say “as THE plan” – but certainly this is at the very core.
As our culture grows increasingly multi-cultural and as the distinctions between religions are blurred in the interest of fusing mankind together in some sort of composite “spiritual” soup – Christians must continually champion the cause of Christ above all, and Christ ALONE above all (His Father excepted – 1 Cor. 15:27 preserving the trinity).
If one had never heard the “law” as given by Moses; if one had never heard a single one of the Old Testament prophets – yet Christ is to be preached as Paul did at the Areopagus. Christ, and Him crucified for the sins of men. The One who is appointed to come and judge the living and the dead – and who alone can reconcile us to the Father through the blood of His cross .