“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”—2 Corinthians 1:20 (ESV)
This past Sunday, Christians around the world, in unison, celebrated the ‘Day of the Transfiguration of our Lord’. The transfiguration is not that popular in church today. The other day, I was sharing the gospel with a few friends when I mentioned the transfiguration everyone was like: “Trans-what? What is that?”
But this event is of significant importance. That is why the church set aside a Sunday for it. Luke, the doctor in his gospel account captures the scene in full (Luke 9:28-36).
Jesus took Peter, John and James to pray on the mountain, and this happened to Jesus: “And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:29-31)
What we read is that Jesus took three disciples with him, and that weird stuff happened to his face and clothing. But also, that the three disciples went to sleep as soon as they reached the mountain. And they really slept.
Now when I said this event is very important, I wasn’t joking. In this event, Moses is representative of the Law, Elijah the Prophets and Jesus Christ the New Covenant of grace. Verse 35 says “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!””
The God who had promised through the prophets that He would forgive us and remember our sins no more was going to fulfill his promise. He wasn’t going to do it through Moses or Elijah but through Christ. Salvation can only come through Christ.
So, if you think you can earn salvation by keeping the 10 commandments or living ‘an exemplary’ life, you are doomed. Instead, you better be sleeping. You should be snoring. “Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep…” (v. 32a)
You see, God sends us to sleep for a reason: He can put things right without us. Just like He did to Adam in creating the Woman, God sends us to sleep so that He can do the work. I think that is why he created us last, after the beetles, mice, mosquitoes and chickens. He didn’t need our ideas on giving the mouse a fifth leg so that it can run faster or giving bigger thigh muscles to mosquitoes. He kept us asleep in His plan of creation.
As we slept, God was being born in the dusty, sun hot town of Bethlehem. As we slept, God was learning to curve furniture out of wood. As we slept he was picking 12 Ragamuffins to change the world. As we slept, God was betrayed, whipped and crucified. As we slept, His body was being laid in a borrowed tomb. It was in our slumber that God defeated death and resurrected.
As we go about our usual business of snoring, God takes on flesh to do for us what both the Law and the Prophets could never do—atone for sins once and for all. Moses and Elijah couldn’t save us because they were also sleeping along with us.
On the day of the Transfiguration, what God made clear to us was that He doesn’t need us to save us. He preferred that our striving and good behaviour remain things we dream about, not the things that save us. He prefers that salvation remain a gift.
You can snore instead of praying and still be saved because your prayers don’t save and neither does your audible snoring or illustrious dreaming, but the One who works as you snore saves. At a fitting time, he wakes you up with snore juices running down your chin, with eyes covered in disgust. He won’t allow you to even wear make-up, and that is when He hands you the gift.
The gifts we receive in Jesus are free and we do nothing to earn them. He prays, we snore. He saves, we receive the gift. Just like that. We wake up to utter our “Amen” to God because of what His son has done. Who said sleeping is a waste of time? Send them this devotion!
That is your Lifeline, AMEN.