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“We also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Some years ago, a popular television show called “Extreme Makeover” featured ordinary-looking men and women who were dramatically transformed. Each subject would be secluded from family for many weeks. Each underwent plastic surgery, physical conditioning, beauty enhancements, and a complete wardrobe change. At the conclusion there would be a “big reveal” to family and friends, to everyone’s astonishment. They could hardly recognize the new and improved version of the person they had known before.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus didn’t need life coaches or doctors to dramatically change His appearance. He allowed His inner glory as God’s Son to show forth suddenly when, as Matthew records, He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.” (Matthew 17:2) After conversing with the Old Testament prophets Moses and Elijah about His upcoming death to redeem all sinners, suddenly everything was back to normal. Only Jesus and His three disciples remained, and they made their way down the mountain to return to their humble lives of service in God’s kingdom.

What a dramatic contrast Jesus’ disciples experienced in how He appeared to them! He went from their humble human teacher, to brilliant glory on the mountain, back to humble teacher, then to the depths of a shameful death on the cross and to the grave. Then, when they met the risen Christ, He was revealed to them again in divine glory. This remembrance of Jesus’ glory must have sustained them in their own dark and humble days of service as His witnesses while building the early church.

But God gave them more than just the memory of seeing Jesus’ glory in the past. In the crucified and risen Savior they also had the certain promise of glory to come—a transfiguration of their own bodies when He comes again. You have this promise, too! All who trust in the blood-bought righteousness that Jesus earned have a glorious, transfiguration “makeover” in store. It is certainly coming soon, for God promises that “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)

Can you picture this “new you”? Can you imagine sharing in the glory that was revealed in Jesus at His transfiguration? Think of it: instead of weakness, strength; instead of sin, pure holiness; instead of confusion, clarity; instead of sorrow, pure joy; instead of impending death, life everlasting! Certainly, a life like that is beyond our imagination, and well worth waiting for during our life of humble service here, for “it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

Now that it’s been about twenty years since the “Extreme Makeover” show aired, it would be interesting to see what’s happened to the participants since then. Have they kept up their new look, or gone back to their frumpy old appearance? One thing is certain—in due time all will grow old and weak, and finally meet the grave. There is only one way to reach beyond that fate, and that is through faith in the Savior Who conquered sin, death, and the grave. And with our eyes fixed on that living Savior, our own “big reveal” is certainly coming and will never end. May God keep us all in His grace until Christ’s glory is revealed in us!

Bruce Naumann is senior pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.