The season of the church year between Christmas and Lent is called Epiphany, a name that means to make known or reveal. During this season we celebrate Jesus’ transfiguration, an event in which his divine majesty was revealed as his face shone like the sun. The apostle John, who witnessed that astonishing event, would later receive a revelation in which the face of the risen, exalted Lord once again shone like the sun.
Between those two shining events, another revelation took place. As the sun’s light failed, the Son of God died on the cross, bearing our sin and guilt in his body, suffering the penalty of death that we deserved. In that sacrifice, the love of God was revealed: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).