Luke 9:31 and other Scriptures
Sunday, March 13, 2022 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa
“And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9:30-31
This morning’s sermon is called “The Exodus” and if follows that use of that word long after the actual event in which the people of Israel left 400 years of slavery and traveled to the Promised Land. The event is, I believe, historic yet also has tremendous symbolism about life, about heaven and about the idea that we travel through the days and years and will, in a sense, continue long after our days on earth are over.
Traveling, in general, is fun but I do miss the room that was once part of economy class seats on airplanes. Because of that, I enjoyed this little clip about traveling on planes taken from Reader’s Digest:
Delta Airlines is infusing its cabins with a lavender-and-chamomile scent called Calm. A magazine asked its readers to come up with a better name to match “the ambience of the packed economy cabin.” “Eau the Humanity” “Giorgio’s Arm-on-me” “Chanel No. 5 Inches of Legroom” and “Claustrophobique.”* Such is modern traveling.
- Set the Stage
In the passage we’re considering today, Jesus and His disciples have traveled to Ceasarea Phillipi, possibly, and if they were there they were in the middle of the most pagan site in Israel at that time. Shrines to gods like Zeus and Pan and others were all over the place. Their ruins are still there. Peter, James and John joined Jesus on an expedition to the top of the hill overlooking these shrines and there a theophany took place. The three men saw into the spiritual realm and recognized that Jesus was speaking with Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets) about the events soon to transpire in Jerusalem, namely, His death and Resurrection. The choice of words is telling. Verse 31 says, “And behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His decease which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” The literal translation of the phrase is “His exodus.”
- The Main Point
The Israelis had an exodus, as did Jesus and later Peter.
The Israelis had their Exodus, leaving slavery for a new life of freedom, but Jesus, Moses and Elijah referred to the Lord’s death, resurrection and ascension as His exodus, the travel that transforms. In a strange way the Godhead which is eternally the same nevertheless somehow changed in that Jesus returned to His throne with His humanity, and the scars on His hands, feet and side intact. And Jesus is not the only one who enters the spiritual realm as an exodus.
Peter used the same word years later as he approached the end of his days. In 2 Peter 1 he wrote that the Lord had revealed to him that he would soon make his exodus, the same word Luke used to describe the Lord Jesus years before. There is an exodus that every follower of Christ makes, and the Bible informs us of some of what will take place. You’ve heard me mention my understanding of Hebrews 12:22-24 in which the writer describes heaven as a mountain with a city at the top, with the angels and the spirits of those whose names are in the Book of Life and there we see Jesus face to face. I’m convinced that is an actual description of what a person sees entering heaven. There is more. In Revelation 2 &3 the Lord Jesus addresses the Christians in several different regions of the Roman world. While much can be made of the content, I’d like to focus on what He says to the people that “overcome”, that are faithful to the end. I think these things actually happen. Revelation 2:7-the Christian is allowed to eat from the tree of life, which is in the Paradise of God. It is the same tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat after they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In 2:11 the Christian is spared the second death. In 2:17 Jesus gives the Christian a white stone, symbolic of innocence, with a new name written on it known only by the Lord and the recipient of the stone. In 2:26-28 Jesus tells that Christian that he will be in authority over nations. It think these things are part of the exodus that we make as we follow Christ.
The application is to think on these things, consider and ponder them from time to time. There will be days when you feel discouraged and frustrated, where you may not see the point to all that is involved in serving the Lord. But there is much blessing in this life, that is sure, and having the destiny of the exodus before us can help restore our joy in serving and reset our focus in these days.
Many years ago, the Israeli people experienced an exodus, leaving behind all they knew for a new life. Our Lord Jesus, in front of Peter, James and John, spoke of His exodus with Moses and Elijah on that hill above all the pagan shrines. Years later, Peter, facing the end of his days, spoke of his exodus using the exact same words that described what Jesus discussed on that hill so long ago. The Bible speaks of an exodus for all Christ’s followers and gives us some of the details. Consider them and keep them in the back of your mind and they will provide perspective throughout the days of your life.