Transfiguration is pointing to the...

While a few days late on this post in terms of the liturgical calendar, a couple of weeks ago Mark 9:2-8 came up in the worship service in the church calendar.

It is worth noting that the transfiguration story is often understood as a precursor to the resurrection. But let us be clear, in the original ending of the Gospel of Mark, there is no resurrection story. So how could the transfiguration be a precursor to a story that does not exist?

Perhaps the transfiguration is not a story that points toward resurrection at all. Perhaps Mark's telling of the transfiguration points to the crucifixion.

Take a look at these similar connections:

  • The transfiguration took place six days later while the  crucifixion took place over the course of six hours.
  • Three men witnessed the transfiguration but three women witnessed the  crucifixion .
  • Moses and Elijah appeared in one story while the other had two unnamed thieves with Jesus.
  • Jesus has white clothes but at the  crucifixion his clothes are gambled for and he is naked.
  • Peter wants to build three tents on the mountain but when Jesus dies the Jerusalem temple tent is torn.
  • God declares Jesus as the "Son of God" at the transfiguration, but it was a roman centurion who make this same statement at the  crucifixion . 
This is just what I came up with while looking at the texts side by side and no exegetical work. 

While I quickly want to jump to the resurrection and all the hope that comes with that, perhaps I am missing the point int he gospel of Mark for whom seems to be pointing to the crucifixion as the apex of the gospel.