“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Matthew 17:1-8: Moses and Elijah, pt. 3

...With these connections in mind, we can see that Moses and Elijah’s presence would have had been a very significant detail. Moses and Elijah, to whom God had revealed himself upon mountains, appear again on a mountain during a more complete divine revelation. Moses and Elijah, who were in part eschatological characters and forerunners of the messiah, appear during this messianic revelation. Moses and Elijah, who represented the law and the prophets, appear with the one who said he had come to fulfill the law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-18). The entire history of redemption, recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures (the law and the prophets), is being focused to a point in the person of Jesus Christ and his part in that story, which he discusses with Moses and Elijah (cf. Luke 9:30). In bringing in Moses and Elijah in this context, Matthew connects the entire redemptive history to the events at hand. Indeed, “the literal Moses and Elijah…capture the reader’s attention for the figurative new Elijah (17:12) and the new Moses – Jesus” (Keener 278). The disciples’ words in the previous chapter, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (16:14) run along the same lines of seeing Jesus in light of those who had gone before. It is in Jesus that the seemingly isolated strands of the story are tied together and brought to climactic completion and fulfillment...

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