LIFE AFTER DEATH? PROVE IT!
October 29, 2021| Frank Tunstall | Apologetics, Biblical Study, Pastoral Development, Scriptures, Sermons
By: Frank Tunstall, D. Min.
The transfiguration of Jesus is a premier revelation that shows life after death for the people of God.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up the mountain with Him and was transfigured before them. The event was a historical reality, a factual event that showed the apostles had not crafted “cleverly invented stories” when they “talked about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Instead, they were eyewitnesses.” This is the best kind of testimony; the evidence was not hear say (2 Peter 1:16-17). Peter was the leader of the eyewitnesses; the other two were James and John.
Please dear reader, pause and give yourself time to absorb the historic event of Jesus’ transfiguration. Moses had been dead for some 1500 years, and Elijah for about eight hundred years when they met with Jesus on the holy mountain. The eyewitnesses saw both Moses and Elijah with Jesus and heard them talking. Both men were alive and well at the Lord’s transfiguration. They were also fully knowledgeable regarding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection soon to happen at Jerusalem. Jesus’ topic of conversation with Moses and Elijah was the Lord’s death and resurrection. [The Greek word for decease is exodon and it translates in English as exodus.]
Please also consider, dear reader, Moses and Elijah had more information on the mountain about Jesus’ death and resurrection than the Biblical record shows they had during their ministries, and more knowledge about the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection then did the three disciples.
Moses’ forty-year exodus was a monumental achievement, no question about it. But the host Moses led does not compare with the exodus Jesus leads that will consummate in the great rapture of the church. The three disciples were to keep telling the story for the remainder of their lives, and then hand down the eyewitness news to their followers. They heard the distinct voice of the Heavenly Father coming from the majestic glory: “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35).
The transfiguration teaches profound gospel truths. Among them is the Heavenly Father’s audible affirmation of Jesus as God’s Son. Another is that intelligent life will be ours in the world to come. Moses and Elijah continued to learn in heaven. The fact Moses and Elijah were so very informed at the transfiguration indicates quality teaching goes on in heaven. Their information was current. This meant they knew the divine timeline for Messiah’s brutal sacrifice on the cross that would accomplish the salvation of all people who repent of their sins and believe wholeheartedly that Jesus is the Son of God.
The disciples thought they had a bright idea – launch a little construction project to honor Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. How far away the disciples were from the Heavenly Father’s blueprint that Jesus was carrying out to the letter. Little wonder the Father’s commanding voice came out of the cloud at the transfiguration saying, “This is my Son whom I have chosen; listen to Him.” The Heavenly Father’s command was clear: You are not to focus on building tabernacles; instead, “listen to Jesus!”
Only the Lord’s resurrection is better proof of life after death. Moses and Elijah were talking intelligently with Jesus at His transfiguration.
The Apostle Peter lived some thirty-five years after Jesus’ transfiguration, but he never forgot it. His second epistle was his farewell; the Lord had told him his passing was near. Peter’s assignment from God was to write this epistle to make a record of the events that happened on the Mount of Transfiguration and at Jesus’ crucifixion.
“It is right to refresh your memory,” Peter wrote as he recorded the story. “I know I will soon be put aside as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”
And what are we to remember?
“We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, whom I love, in whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”
The transfiguration of Jesus actually “made the word of the prophets more certain.” And what does this mean for us? “You will do well to pay attention to the Scriptures as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.” By all means “you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation, for prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men from God spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:12-20), Yes, we are to believe the Scriptures with our whole hearts and share the Scriptures with our families and friends.
Many people say life after death lacks proof, but Peter’s record as an eyewitness of the transfiguration of Jesus says otherwise. The evidence is clear, in fact, and it gives great encouragement to all of Jesus’ followers that life after death does await the people of God.
Thank you, Peter, for listening to the voice of our Heavenly Father on the holy mountain, and for recording the story that is so full of Holy Spirit anointing.