Year 3 Day 17
Read - Mark 9:9-13
Message - Alan Burke
Remember the Bible is about One Lord, One People, One Plan and here after Jesus transfiguration Jesus along with Peter, James and John make their way down the mountain once more we are reminded of this truth. Jesus told his disciples not to tell anyone for the same reason that led Peter to rebuke Jesus and it was because people were filled with misunderstandings of the purpose in the coming Christ. They were looking for, they expected a conquering Messiah and as Jesus told them they were to keep quiet until He had risen, it is clear that they still did not understand. Instead of asking Jesus what is initially is troubling them as they discus what rising form the dead means, they instead ask Jesus about Elijah. It is a question that comes out of Malachi 4:5. For there the Lord though the prophet Malachi tells us that;
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes” (Mal 4:5).
The explication was that Elijah would come, knowing that his appearance would mean that the day of the Lord and the Kingdom of God was near. This was the commonly held expectation, and when he came he would lead the people in a spirit of repentance, bring restoration. Elijah was to come and do the preparatory work for the coming of the Messiah. Peter, James and John had just seen Elijah there, how then are the people of God so unprepared for His coming, that they would reject him and kill Him? But Elijah had indeed come as Jesus response. In Matthew’s gospel in the parallel account we are told;
“Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist” (Mt 17:13).
For John the Baptist was not a reincarnated Elijah, instead he came as the last Old Testament prophet in the "spirit and power of Elijah” as the gospel of Luke tells us (1:17), he came before Jesus to “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” (Mal 4:6). He came fulfilling Malachi and the promise of God so before Jesus, John came, as Elijah was to come before the Christ the Messiah. John came and called people to repent of their sin, he fulfilled the mission of Elijah, he prepared the way for Jesus, the Savior and Son of God. John had come, and to John who came in the spirit and power of Elijah, he suffered, he was imprisoned for telling the truth, for preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He came as the forerunner of the gospel and was beheaded by Herod, he suffered and died at the hands of sinful men. The forerunner of the Messiah was dealt with severely, should there be any surprise about the fait of the Messiah himself?
We can easily miss it but read Exodus 24, for in what happens there and here there are many similarities. There we have three named individuals along with Moses who ascend the mountain, here it is Jesus and three named individuals. There they saw the glory of God, here they saw the glory of God, there the closed covered the mountain, here the cloud covered the mountain, there the Lord spoke from heaven here the Lord spoke from Heaven. Mark expects us to read this passage and to see the similarities, just as the events in Exodus 24 momentous event in redemptive history so too are the events that take place in this passage for the Bible is about One Lord, One People, One Plan. Moses who was the mediator of the Old Covenant, Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant, who comes to redeem us from slavery, not a slavery in Egypt but who are slaves to sin and death. That is why Jesus came, to die that we might be freed from our bondage, be freed from the power of sin and the fear of death, that is the wonder of what God has done for us through His only begotten Son, who has brought redemption for all who repent and believe. That is the wonder of the Gospel, that Jesus the Son of God came that we might know salvation.
Q23 What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation. (Acts 3:21–22, Heb. 12:25, 2 Cor. 13:3, Heb. 5:5–7, Heb. 7:25, Ps. 2:6, Isa. 9:6–7, Matt. 21:5, Ps. 2:8–11)