The of Christ

We tend to think of as something achieved by extraordinary athletic victories, business achievements, or personal fame. In the Bible, however, it has to do with the radiant shining forth of the transcendent majesty of God. At crucial moments the splendor of Jesus’ deity burst through the cloak of His humanity.

The of Christ never became more evident than at His transfiguration. The Greek word for is metamorphoomai, from which we get the word metamorphosis. It denotes a change in form as, for example, the transformation that occurs when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. The prefix trans- means literally “across.” In the a limit or barrier is crossed. We might call it a crossing of the line between the natural and the supernatural, between the human and the divine. It crosses a boundary of dimensions into the realm of God.

At the a brilliant light shone from Jesus. This light was the visible manifestation that the barrier had indeed been crossed. There are some similarities between this manifestation of and the shining face of Moses when he returned from with the Ten Commandments. The differences, however, are significant. Moses’ face shone with reflected glory. Christ did not merely reflect the brightness of glory, but His glory is the brightness of glory. In this respect, His clearly transcends the reflected glory on the face of Moses.

Christ, then, did not reflect light but was the source of light. The was akin to what the will experience in the New Jerusalem. In Revelation 21:23, John explains that the heavenly city will have no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it. ’s will illumine it. The Lamb will be its light. John writes, “They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord gives them light” (Revelation 22:4–5).

That the of Christ shone forth at the should not surprise us. The surprise is that He willingly veiled His for the sake of His children.

Summary

  1. The of Christ was revealed at His transfiguration.
  2. The of Christ was a change in form, a crossing of the natural into the supernatural.
  3. Christ’s is not merely a reflection of ’s glory but the very Himself.