Mountains in the Bible are powerful and important places. Mountain is almost a code-word for divine intervention, for God manifesting Himself and making something critical happen.
In seminary, we had our own little mountains not far off the Mississipi river in southeast Minnesota, called “bluffs.” One of these had an awesome rock formation right near the top that gave a wonderful view of the gorgeous campus below. I went up there many times, even once before sunrise to watch the dawn break. Back when I was in shape, I could take the most direct and steepest route right up to it, but I was always out of breath by the time I made it to the top.
Lent is meant to be a time of climbing a mountain to experience God. And if you've ever tried to climb a mountain, you know that it ain't no walk in the park. This is some seriously difficult work, and you better make good preparations for it. You have to first off dress properly and bring the right equipment. But also you have to pack the necessary amount of food and water. But not too much. Any ounce of extra baggage you bring is going to make that climb more miserable. So the journey up the mountain requires you to make judgments on things: what's important? what will help me? what will hold me back? That's one thing we do during Lent.
But then we get to work climbing. And that work toward sanctification can be tough. In these 40 days, we may want to quit. It is so much easier to just give in to the gravity of our concupiscence and fall down. It's not easy to change; it means going against the grain of our habits to make better ones.
When we are tempted to give in to the difficulties, or find ourselves tripped up on our faces because of sin, it is then that we need a reminder of our purpose: why are we doing this?
The Cross hurts, but the Resurrection gives us assurance that it's worth it.
This is what the disciples experience today. 8 Days ago, they hear that their teacher, the Messiah, is going to taste the most humiliating, most shameful, and most painful death possible.
They need encouragement. They need a change of perspective- to see things from above.
They need a God's eye view. They need hope.