And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.Matthew 17:3
And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.Mark 9:4
And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.Luke 9:30-31
Before we begin to explore the glorious conversation that took place on the mountain, let’s take a moment and realize what is being told to us. Jesus ascended the mountain in bodily form and that body was glorified, though partially, in this scene. Elijah ascended up into heaven in his body. That body is shown glorified as well here on the mountain. But what about Moses? Moses died, and God buried him.
So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.Deuteronomy 34:5-6
Yet Moses appears in his body in the same glorious scene. Obviously, God has resurrected Moses’ body sometime after He buried him. Perhaps this is what sparked the debate between Michael and the devil in Jude 9. We do not know when it happened but it is clearly shown to us that the promise of glorified bodies in eternal peace was certain even before Christ went to the cross.
We do not know all the details of the conversation between Jesus, Moses, and Elijah but we do know that it had to be a joyous and blessed fellowship! They spake of Jesus’ “decease” and what it would accomplish. The original Greek for “decease” is the same root as “Exodus.” So, they talked about how Jesus would die, rise from the dead, and ascend victorious having gained salvation for the elect. Oh, glory!
Even more glorious to note is the wording “which HE SHOULD accomplish.” Moses and Elijah are standing there as a testimony that the Father trusted the Son to finish the work of salvation. Therefore, those men could receive glory even before the work on the cross. It also shows us that it is by the work of Jesus alone that we are saved. There is nothing left for us to do or accept. He accomplished the work. He cried out on the cross “IT IS FINISHED!”