Transfiguration Sunday celebrates the glorious revelation of God in Jesus Christ and Christ’s manifestation as the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Jesus’ radiant appearance on the mountaintop evokes the devouring fire of the glory of the LORD at Mount Sinai (Exodus 24.17). Here, as at Jesus’ baptism, God claims him as a beloved child, in whom God is well pleased.
In their account of this event, the synoptic gospels offer an enlightening tableau vivant, with Christ flanked by Moses, representing the law, and Elijah, representing the prophetic tradition. With this vivid image, the gospel writers demonstrate the relationship of the human Word of God to the tradition of Israel and set forth the hermeneutic by which they read the Hebrew Scriptures.