“And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening.” (Luke:9:28-29)
We say, “No cross, no crown”; in the life of our Lord the crown of the glory of the Transfiguration came before the Cross. You never know Jesus Christ, and Him crucified unless you have seen Him transfigured in all His transcendent majesty and glory; the Cross to you is nothing but the cross of a martyr. If you have seen Jesus glorified, you know that the Cross is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin, that on the Cross our Lord bore the whole massed sin of the human race. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (1 Corinthians:5:21)….Beware of the teaching that makes out that Jesus Christ suffered because He was so noble, so pure, so far beyond the age in which He lived, that men put Him to death; it is not true. No martyr ever said what He said—“I lay it [My life] down of myself.” As workers, you will find that people like to listen as long as you talk about the holiness of Jesus and exalt Him as a marvelous character; but immediately you speak of His death and say that He became identified with sin that we might be delivered from it, you find resentment. In the New Testament everything centers on the Cross. The Cross did not “happen” to Jesus: He came on purpose for it.
----Oswald Chambers, “The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers” (Discovery House Publishers 2000), p. 230