The transfiguration is one of the most fascinating stories in the entire New Testament. When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain God sent Moses and Elijah to speak with him. What did they talk about on the mountain? I am really not sure but I have an idea.
The first clue that connects these three figures has to do with death. Popular Jewish stories hinted that Moses may have never died. Elijah, of course, was taken up into heaven and never died. Jesus was about to go to the cross and conquer death for everyone.
The second clue has to do with encouragement. When Moses was leading the Hebrews through the wilderness he got discouraged. He asked to see God. God showed up and only let him see him passing by through the mountains from behind. When Elijah was unpopularly speaking out for God he faced rejection and persecution. He needed encouragment. What did he do? You guessed it, he asked to see God. God showed up in the gentle whisper. Jesus was on his way to the cross. In Mark 9, Jesus is in the middle of his three passion predictions each of which is met by misunderstanding by his disciples and in need of further clarification. Even his own disciples were telling him it wasn’t a good idea. He faced opposition on every side. On the mountain, Jesus received more than encouragement from Moses and Elijah. Like Moses and Elijah, he received a revelation and experience of God, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7).
In all three instances death was overcome (only by tradition with Moses and not necessarily backed by scripture). In all three instances God made himself known at a crucial time. In all three instances they were encouraged and readied to go on to the next step. What did Moses, Elijah, and Jesus talk about? I am guessing it was pretty encouraging and that Jesus was getting geared up to go to Jerusalem and do what he needed to do with a result that all men everywhere could overcome death.