Mk.9:1 – Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, there are some standing here now who won’t experience death until they see God’s kingdom realm manifest with power!”
Matt.17:5 – But while Peter was still speaking, a radiant cloud composed of light spread over them, enveloping them all. And God’s voice suddenly spoke from the cloud, saying, “This is my dearly loved Son, the constant focus of my delight. Listen to him!
I love the description of the cloud in the Passion Translation. It describes the cloud as radiant. This is why the cloud of glory is often described as shekinah, the shining cloud of glory. This cloud led the children of Israel for forty years through the desert. It was also the cloud that filled the temple at Solomon’s dedication service. In today’s passage we see the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as a cloud working together with the Father who said “this is my beloved Son, listen to Him”. What an amazing picture of the trinity working together, heading toward their ultimate triumph at Calvary. The Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit always work together in perfect harmony. The Passion Translation notes point out the powerful description of the cloud in the original text. Check this out.
“The Greek word translated “overshadow” is episkiazo, which is used exclusively for the power of the Almighty “overshadowing,” such as Mary, who conceived a child supernaturally by God…. This was not a natural shadow created by the light of the sun, but the supernatural overshadowing of God’s power. Jesus will appear again in these clouds of glory.”
This word, episkiazo, is used by Luke when he describes Mary as being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit when she conceived Christ in her womb. The cloud of glory came upon her and she became pregnant with God’s only begotten Son. This phrase is also used in an amazing way in the book of Acts. There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit described in Acts 5 in the streets of Jerusalem. Sick people were lining the streets and when Peter’s shadow passed over them they were healed. Actually, Luke used that word, espiskiazo to describe Peter’s shadow. It was actually the shining cloud of glory, the anointing, that was on Peter healing the sick.
At the risk of sounding weird, I often ‘see’ a haze in our services at Victory. I don’t think the cloud is physically visible but it is there none the less. His presence is often manifested in corporate worship services but not everyone is aware of His presence. Draw near today, you may find yourself under His shadow.