The Elijahs

"And after six days Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with Him." (Matthew 17:1-3 RSV)

The Transfiguration event has caused wonder right from the moment that it happened - Peter, James and John certainly were awestruck by it. But why were Elijah and Moses in it? After all, weren't they "Old Testament"? What were they doing in the New Testament?

Of the two, Moses is perhaps the most straight forward. Moses was selected as a representative for The Law of God, summed up by The Ten Commandments. And Jesus said of The Law:

But why Elijah?

As the above verses state, "Think not that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them." Just as The Law of God, the foundation of the future Kingdom Of God, spans the entire Bible, so too does the role of the prophets, to provide a witness and a warning. Elijah, one of the earliest prophets, and perhaps the most zealous, was chosen to represent the function of the prophets.

Since thousands of years of Bible History span more than a single human lifetime, the term "Elijah," continued to be used to represent the prophets (just as "Washington" has come to sometimes mean successive American government administrations - keeping in mind that the city was named after a man named Washington who has himself long ago died).

And then came John The Baptist, the "Elijah" of his time:

That same "spirit of Elijah," which is actually the Holy Spirit of God in the prophet, will again surface, in the most powerful and spectacular version ever, in The Two Witnesses just prior to The Return Of Jesus Christ:

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