Heaven on earth seems to be one of those terms that we throw around in everyday conversation without realizing the weight or the reality of the statement itself. Whenever I think of heaven on earth or use it in a conversation I’m usually just talking about a day of really nice weather at the beach, or the perfect glass of ice tea on a scorching hot summer day. My point is that though these wonderful things can feel pretty good, they do not compare to the experience of God’s presence- heaven on earth.
The Transfiguration provides one of the most awe-inspiring images in the Bible to me. How crazy would it have been to not only see Jesus shining like the sun, but to hear God the Father speak to you as he spoke to the prophets, the kings and Adam and Eve. I think N.T. Wright said it best when he wrote that Jesus was the ultimate place where heaven and earth come together- a place full of the presence of God. It makes sense when you think about it. Jesus is in all things, created all things, all things were created for Him, and He is the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. I think he has all the bases covered.
I think part I love most about this passage is Matthew 17:5,7. God tells the three disciples to listen to Him, and then Jesus tells them get up and be not afraid. Jesus, the Messiah, after transfiguring into some sight too holy for human eyes He touches his friends and tells them to not be afraid! This is awesome because it tells me that God does not want us to just hide our faces. It tells me He does not want us to miss what He’s doing, and He wants us involved in what He’s doing. Who are we that God should include us in his plans? He does not owe us anything- I mean, He already gave us life, technically He has given us life twice.