Today’s verses are Mark 9:9,10: “And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead might mean.”
After the incredible experience of Jesus’ transfiguration on top of the mountain, they came down from the mountain. During the descent, Jesus specifically commanded Peter, James and John not to tell anyone what they saw or heard. Repeatedly, Jesus did this with his disciples and people whom he had healed. Again, he is trying to avoid a popular uprising from among the people. They were expecting a contemporary rebel, a “freedom fighter” who would free them from Roman oppression. If everyone proclaimed Jesus as such, he knew that Roman opposition would be swift, thus preventing him from his calling as a suffering Messiah sent by the Father to save his people.
Jesus’ disciples didn’t understand what “rising from the dead” meant. They do expect a general resurrection from the dead at the end of all time, preceded by Elijah’s return. But this teaching at this time made no sense to them. Therefore, they questioned what the resurrection may mean.
Have you ever deeply questioned the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection? It’s extremely important to do so. Without it, In I Corinthians 15, Paul says we are Christians people without hope. What does it mean? It means:
1. Our sins are truly forgiven. If Jesus remains in the grave, he is merely a good man gone bad. He is a popular rebel who died for a worthy cause but goes to rest in his grave with all the other men and women with good causes who sacrificed their lives for what they believed. But Jesus’ resurrection proves he is God who paid the price for all our sins.
2. Our hope for eternal life and perfect resurrection, our eternal bodies is secured. As his resurrection body was given to him after his death, for those those who believe, our resurrection bodies will be given to us! Jesus is the “firstfruits” of resurrection glory. For those who believe, one by one, we will receive what has been given to him after our deaths.
3. It proved his claims to deity. No other person who has ever lived has been raised from the dead. Yes, there have been some who have been resuscitated, but only to die again. Jesus was raised from the dead as God’s only Son, God in human flesh, God paying the price for our sins so that we can lived together with him forever. He never died again! If Jesus stays in the tomb, he is no better than any other man. But his resurrection proves his divinity. And if Jesus is God, then he is Lord over all our lives forever and ever!
The disciples put all these pieces together after Jesus was raised from the dead. They finally did figure out not only the importance of the transfiguration, but the resurrection too. They knew it was essential to their faith and doctrine. They wrote about it in their letters/epistles to the churches. They knew the absolute importance of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.