After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them.
Jesus Gave Up His Glory
Today is the first day of the season of Lent. During this season you might hear some people say what they will be “giving up for Lent.” Some give up eating dessert, drinking alcohol, watching television, or checking social media during the 40 days of Lent. Why do they do this? Willingly giving up the use of something meaningful to them helps them better appreciate what Jesus was willing to give up during his time on earth. And what was Jesus willing to give up?
He gave up his use of the glory he revealed to his disciples on, what is named, the mountain of transfiguration. The dazzling whiteness that was brighter than anything the disciples ever could have imagined was something they had never seen when they looked at Jesus for as long as they had known him. Indeed, when Jesus called these men to be his disciples, when he walked with them from town to town, when he sat with them and taught them the truths of God’s Word, in every moment, Jesus looked very … normal. He looked just like them. But he wasn’t just like them. The Bible is clear that Jesus has always been “the radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3).
Yet Jesus willingly gave up the use of that glory, not just for 40 days, but from the moment he entered the womb of a virgin as a fragile human until the moment his crucified body was placed into the grave in which he was buried. Why?
Because God wanted to give you a human friend who is “not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15) who is also, as this glimpse of glory reminded the disciples, able to offer God a better sacrifice than any you or I could give him.
Jesus willingly gave up his glory so that we would never have to give up holding on to the certainty that we are forgiven of our sins through his sacrifice and eternal members of God’s own family.
Father in heaven, thank you for the glorious sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus. Amen.