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Preview of Coming Attractions
How appropriate that after Jesus dropped the bombshell of his upcoming suffering and death on the disciples the inner circle (Peter, James, and John) was given a preview of Jesus’ Glorious Appearing! After Jesus sought to destroy the short-sighted dreams of the Twelve, they are more disillusioned than ever. Even coming down from the Mountain of Transfiguration they have a discussion among themselves about “what ‘rising from the dead’ meant” (Mark 9:10).
Jesus has already explained that “rising from the dead” meant that first the Messiah would have to suffer, be rejected and die on the cross. Self-denial in order to do the Father’s will dominates the center section of Mark’s Gospel. Indeed, it must dominate the center section of our lives if we are to be included among those who truly follow Jesus.
But what exactly does it mean for our lives today? I love the mountain top experiences but must realize that Jesus never stayed on the mountain. His work was in the valley. More specifically, in the words of the Psalmist, his work was in the valley of the shadow of death. Am I willing to follow him on that road?
Some of my favorite passages describe the return of Jesus to his earth. At that time will the renewal of all things. It will indeed be a Glorious Appearing when Heaven and Earth are united eternally. Let the image of the risen and glorified Christ fill your heart as you follow the self-denying, crucified Christ as he teaches us how to live today.