Calvin Presbyterian Church
Calvin Presbyterian Church
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Transfiguration

Old Testament: Exodus 24:12-18
Epistle: 2 Peter 1:10-19
Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

 

When You were transfigured, 0 Savior, upon a high mountain, having with You the chief disciples, You shone forth in glorious majesty, proving thereby that those who surpass in the height of their virtues shall be counted worthy of the divine glory. Talking with Christ, Moses and Elijah showed that He is the Lord of both the living and the dead, the God who spoke of old through the Law and the Prophets. And the voice of the Father testified to Him from the cloud of light saying, "Hear Him, who through His Cross destroys hell and gives the dead eternal life."

Having uncovered, 0 Savior, a little of the light of Your divinity to those who went up with You into the mountain You have made them lovers of Your heavenly glory. Therefore they cried in awe: "It is good for us to be here. With them we all we sing unto You…

The Transfiguration of Christ is one of the central events recorded in the Gospels. Immediately after the Lord was recognized by His disciples as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, he told them that He must go up to Jerusalem and suffer many things... and be killed and on the third day be raised. This announcement of Christ's approaching passion and death was met with indignation by the disciples. And then, after rebuking them, the Lord took Peter, James, and John up to a high mountain, by tradition Mount Tabor, and was transfigured before them.

In the Transfiguration, the disciples see the glory of the Kingdom of God present in majesty in the Person of Christ. They see that in Him, all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. They see this before the crucifixion so that in the resurrection they might know who it is Who has suffered for them, and what it is that this One, who is God, has prepared for those who love Him.

Besides this meaning, the presence of Moses and Elijah is also of great significance for understanding of the feast. These two figures actually stand for the Old Testament itself: MOSES for the LAW, and ELIJAH for the PROPHETS. They also stand for the LIVING and DEAD, for Moses died and his burial place is known, while Elijah was taken alive into heaven in order to appear again to announce the time of God’s salvation in Christ the Messiah. Christ is the Lord of both the living and the dead.

About the Icon
Christ is the central figure; He is clothed in white and completely surrounded by an aureole (elongated halo) to indicate the brilliant Light of His Divinity which shown From Him. St. Elijah the Prophet is pictured on the left, and St. Moses the Lawgiver on the right. Moses holds in his hands the tablets of the Ten Commandments which he received on Mount Sinai. The Disciples Peter, James and John are the three figures shown below Christ; they are portrayed in an attitude of being overcome by the Uncreated Light of Divinity.