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The View from the Mountaintop

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The View from the Mountaintop

Mark 9:2-9

It is kind of interesting when you get to view a familiar place from a mountain or other high place.  You get a better feel for the lay of the land, and how buildings are situated, etc.  When you look at this property from above you can see the remnants of the train tracks that one encircled the property.  Another advantage of taking in the view from the mountaintop is that you can see what lies beyond.  Consider the people who are living in close proximity to the Mississippi River.  They know that there is the danger of flooding, but many have no idea of how close it is to their homes.  A view from above helps to prepare them for the next steps.  In our text this morning, Jesus has dropped the bombshell on His disciples concerning His coming suffering which will take place on a hill called Calvary.  Of course the disciples did not want to accept this fact as truth, and from this point forward in the Gospel of Mark we are going to see much instruction concerning the Cross.  Six days after He told them about the coming crucifixion, He led three of His men up a mountain, where they will witness what is commonly called the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.  His garments became this shining white.  There are a lot of explanations about this event, but I see this as His inner glory being manifested on the outer man. 

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Hebrews 1:1-3 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

This account is found in three of the four Gospels.  I want to draw out some of the specific events that are mentioned in these accounts and preach a message called, “The View from the Mountaintop.”

1.  The conversation with Moses and Elijah.  This is a very exciting meeting, because both of these men had been dead for a long, long time.  The first thing that jumped out at me when I was reading this account this week is the fact that Heaven is real.  Where else could these two men have come from?  There are those that teach about soul sleep and other misinformation about what happens when a person dies.  The soul goes to heaven, and a glorified body is given.  What?  Did God wake up these two men from their centuries of slumber, place them on the Mount and then tell them to go back to sleep?  For those of you who are thinking maybe so, then explain to me the subject of their conversation. 

Luke 9:30-31 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.  How could Moses and Elijah have known about the coming events if they were not in some state of consciousness?  Anyway, the three talked about the Cross!  The coming end to God’s plan of redemption.  I think about Moses receiving the plan for the Tabernacle for the Lord, and just do not see how he could fully understand what heard and saw.  But you put all of that construction and pieces of furniture in the light of the Cross, and it all makes perfect sense.  The day of Atonemnet and the mercy seat within the Holy of Holies takes on a much richer meaning when you apply it to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  They talked about the Cross, and we should not shy away from talking about the Cross.  There is power in the preaching of the Cross.  It may offend some, but maybe some need to be offended.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  Another thing that stands out about these two men is that they represent the two ways you can leave this world.  Moses died and was buried, and Elijah was taken out of here in a whirlwind.  So we either are going to die, or the Lord is going to come back to get us while we are yet alive. 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-54 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Peter sees al of this and he wants to do something special to commemorate the moment.  Let’s build three tabernacles and let this day live on and on.  You can’t hardly blame Peter, wouldn’t this be a great opportunity for a camp meeting?  Moses you start us with a testimony, then Elijah preach a little, and then Jesus can wrap up the meeting with majesty and power! 

2.  The confirmation of the Father.  It seems like no sooner did Peter misspeak, that a voice was heard out of a cloud.  This was the voice of God giving instruction to those that were present.  Number one, this man called Jesus is my son.  This confirms the deity of Christ.  We can go back to the baptism of Christ and find similar words being spoken.  God calls Jesus His Son audibly, and also in the written Word.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

The importance of the Word of God. 

It is inspired

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

It leads to eternal life.

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

It gives direction

Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

It needs to be lived out in your life.

James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

3.  The Climax of the event.  In verse 8, we have what I am calling the climax of the event.  What was the primary purpose of this trip to mountain, the seeing of the old prophets, and the voice from heaven?  It is simply this:  Only Jesus will last.  When the layers of our lives are peeled away, and the sands of time and have sifted through the hour glass, and our relationships have come and gone, and our careers are revealed for what they really were, and all of our education is brought to naught, only Jesus will stand. 

Only Jesus can save your soul

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Only Jesus can handle your load.

Matthew 11:28-298 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Only Jesus matters.

The people were gathering for the feast of Passover, Christ rides into Jerusalem in majesty as the people shout Hosanna.  Some Greeks show up and find Phillip and say, “Sir, we would see Jesus.”

I thought as I entered that city, My friends all knew me well.
They showed me the streets of Heaven; Such scenes too numerous to tell;
I saw Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Mark, Luke and Timothy.
But I said, "I want to see Jesus,He's the One who died for me."

Did you learn anything from the mountaintop this morning?

Maybe you have never been saved.

Maybe you needed to be encouraged about speaking of the Cross, or the value of the Word.  Maybe some things need to come out of your life to make room for Jesus.

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