Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
What does the Christian life look like? Where is the spiritual journey taking us? How can we know if we are making progress? How can we know our calling or where God is leading? How can we come alongside others to help them?
These are questions I wrestle with, and perhaps you do too. I know many people who are asking these questions and other questions like them. The purpose of these daily readings and reflections for Lent is to explore such questions in the light of Scripture. Every day during Lent we will dig into Biblical texts, reflect, and listen for what God might be saying to us about these critical life questions.
For the weeks of Lent we will focus on the Biblical story of the Exodus and see how it is your story and mine. We will see how the Exodus is more than just a past, historical event: it is an ongoing story of how God always acts. What God did in the past becomes the basis for what He is doing today. The Exodus gives us a way of understanding the mystery of God and what He is up to in our lives.
In the Bible the Exodus is made the overarching paradigm, the spiritual roadmap, the archetype, model, pattern, and prototype of the life of faith. The Exodus is a story that is universally true no matter the time, place, or person. It lays out for you and me what the Christian life looks like and where God is leading. God invites us to live into His grand story of a journey from the bondage of Egypt, through the Wilderness, into God’s Promised Land. We will reread the Exodus story as our story; it becomes our own spiritual journey.
It is significant for us to know in our observance of Lent that Jesus thought of His final days in Jerusalem as an Exodus story. In today’s Scripture text we see Jesus transfigured right before the startled eyes of Peter, James, and John. For a moment the three men are graced to glimpse Jesus’ intrinsic glory. They listen in as Jesus is talking with Moses and Elijah about “his departure which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem”.
Important for our understanding of this Scripture text is to know that the Greek word translated as “departure” is exodus. The Exodus is a word and image foremost in the thinking of Moses and Elijah. After all, it was Moses who led God’s people on the Exodus from Egypt, and Elijah who was sent to prepare the way for God’s new Exodus in Jesus (Malachi 3:5). It was natural for these two leading figures of Old Testament times to want to talk with Messiah Jesus about His coming Exodus.
Jesus understood that through His coming death and resurrection He was leading a new Exodus out of sin’s bondage into new life both now and in the world to come. Journey with us as we live into God’s grand story.
- What occurs to you as you think about the Exodus as a metaphor for your spiritual life?
- What other metaphors for the spiritual life stand out to you, e.g. battle, race, building, learner, walk, vine, etc.?
- Take a few moments to ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you in the coming days through the Exodus story.
Note: if you missed it, be sure to read the introduction to this year’s Lenten Devotional