At Jesus’ transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. Why? When we compare Jesus with these two men we find some interesting similarities. Moses died on a mountain, Mount Nebo (Deut. 34:1-5); Jesus died on a mountain, Calvary (Luke 23:33) and ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12). No one could find Moses’ body. Jesus body was also unfound by those going to look for it. Both Moses and Jesus knew they were going to die and went up the mountain to do so. Elijah miraculously ascended in the presence of Elisha. Jesus ascended visibly in the presence of His disciples. Both Elijah and Jesus had knoweldge of the imminent ascension into heaven. The spirit of Moses was passed on to his successor, Joshua. The spirit in Elijah was passed on to his successor, Elisha. the Holy Spirit upon Jesus was given to His followers at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) and to us who share in His salvation (Rom. 8:9).

Morgan argues, “Also, Moses, Elijah, and Jesus each represent a different portion of Scripture. Moses represents the Old Testament Law, the written moral code by which Israelites were to live. Elijah represents the Prophets, the divine representatives of God. Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of both (see Luke 24:25-27) and established the new covenant (or New Testament) in His blood (Luke 22:20).”

To me, the most important comparison, however, is that Moses and Elijah represented severe conflict with the unbelieving world around them and answered the question for their generation, “Who is God?” Moses did this literally through his miracles of the ten plagues. Pharoah had asked Moses, “Who is God, that I should obey Him?” Elijah did battle with the prophets of Baal and the Kings and Queens of the world that worshipped Baal. His major contest was expressed as “Who is God?” Elijah’s miracles established the truth of who God really was. Jesus, presented himself to the world as “God’s only Son.” A clear expression of divinity, and through his death and resurrection and ascension (which was the topic of discussion on the mount of transfiguration) proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He was indeed God’s final representative to man. That’s why God speaks to Peter, James and John and to us when he says, “This is my beloved Son, Listen to Him.”

“A voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him. (Matthew 17:5)