My friend was the robust contractor who hired me as a first year seminary student and gave me the opportunity to combine Dallas Seminary training with some firsthand experience with a 90lb jackhammer, placing concrete, and riding the steel ball as the crane operator helped us set the joists for a large church. More than thirty years later we were gathered with his family around his bed.
The hospice nurse skillfully relieved his pain, and we reminisced about the beginning of his construction company, starting Faith Bible Church together, and the joy of trying to keep pace with God’s blessing in giving. Asa, the enthusiastic Aggie yell leader, church elder, and precious friend, soon would be going home. It’s tough to start losing brothers in Christ you lived life with.
In the room was a wall filled with family pictures from all the stages of life, but there was one I loved more than any other. Asa and Billie, his devoted wife, centered the picture as it radiated out through their four children to grandkids and greatgrands. White shirts, white blouses, white pants, and white dresses—everyone was dressed in dazzling white, and when Jesus gave Peter, James, and John a brief glimpse of His glory, we discover that the preferred dress of heaven is--dazzling white.
“Now it came to pass after these events about eight days later, He took Peter, John, and James with Him and climbed up on a mountain to pray. And it happened that while He was praying, the appearance of His face was changed and His garment radiated white, like lightning. And look, two men, were conversing with Him, Moses and Elijah, appearing in glorious splendor, talking about His departure that He was about to bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem.” - Luke 9:28-31
Jesus had recently told His disciples that He had to suffer, be rejected by the religious leaders in Jerusalem, be executed, and then raised to life the third day. Isaiah 53 predicted these events and now the time of fulfillment had come. Before the rejection, the cross, and the empty tomb Jesus allowed three of His disciples to catch a glimpse of His Kingdom glory—dazzling white.
Years later it is because of the cross, the resurrection, and Jesus’ Transfiguration that I know that as I watched my friend suffer and die this would not be the end. Today, like Moses and Elijah, he’s dressed in dazzling white.
LORD, what a gift of your grace that it’s not only great prophets like Moses and Elijah who will appear in white heavenly raiment, but normal believers like Asa and me. Comfort Billie today with the promise that there will be a future Holleman family picture and all will be dressed in white with our precious Savior will be in the center.
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