Six days after the discussion of His identity, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John, his closest disciples, up a mountain to pray. While praying Jesus' appearance changes. His appearance becomes like that of the sun and His clothes whiter than white. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. God the Father speaks, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” God the Father confirms Jesus as His Son, and that He is to be listened to.
Jesus' divinity shone through His humanity. The transfiguration centers on Jesus and confirms His divinity and the continuity of His teaching with the Old Testaments prophets and the Law. However, the purpose of the transfiguration was for the disciples. For Peter, James, and John to know that Jesus was the Son of God and that they are to listen to His teaching. However, the story is incomplete without the cross, the empty tomb, and the resurrection. The complete story of the transfiguration, is the gospel story. There is no glorification for us, without salvation through the cross. We cannot tabernacle in the glory of the coming kingdom without salvation in Him. Salvation depends on the payment for sin and redemption through His broken body and His blood shed on the cross.
The transfiguration becomes our story in and through Christ. Through the cross we receive atonement for our sins. Through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us as baptized believers, we receive renewal of our minds, that we may be transformed into a holy people. An inner change outwardly visible. God calls us to be a holy people, a people set apart. We can be assured of His work in us because of His work for us. Not following legalistic rules, but living to glorify Him. The transfiguration prefigures our transformation into a people in love with God and in love with our neighbor.