Fans of Minnesota sports teams live by the motto, “they will break your heart.” This is born of years of losing a big game on the last play, the missed field goal, the pass across the body. We frozen and forlorn fans of the teams of the Northland have learned to expect last minute, final play heroics from the other team.
In many ways, the church on earth lives under the same curse of reality. As Jesus reminds us again and again, those who are marked by His cross can expect the cross in our lives. We can expect to be mocked and even maligned by the world. If you live in other parts of the globe, we can even expect to be killed, and driven out of house and home. The cross is a burden we bear for the sake of Jesus, who in His Word, by His death and resurrection has offered us far greater glory in the His kingdom.
However, it can be hard to bear the cross, to suffer and not see any glimpse of the glory that is to be revealed.
As Jesus and the disciples continued their journey to Jerusalem, and the eventual crucifixion death of the Lord, they took a little detour. Jesus, along with Peter, James, and John climb a mountain to spend some time in prayer.
For Jesus, this was to be a time of refreshment in prayer. He was getting ready to face the final battle, and give His life in suffering and death for us, His beloved people.
For the disciples, this trip up the holy mountain gave a glimpse of the glory that is to be revealed by faith. For as Jesus was praying, he became transfigured before their eyes. The divine nature of God, vailed in the flesh of the Son of God, shown through, revealing glimpse of the truth of Jesus as God.
This momentary look into the glory of Jesus was enough to convince Peter that all that the Scriptures say about the Christ is true. Jesus the Savior has come, and no amount of suffering in this life can separate you from your Savior. This glimpse of glory we too see in the Word and Supper of Jesus. By His gifts are we strengthened to face each day by faith and hope in our loving Lord.