Q. Knowing the Word of God cannot contradict itself, how do you interpret Matthew 16:28? Were there any present who would not “taste death” or is there another teaching here?
A. In Matt. 16:28 the Lord said, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Six days after He said this He took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain where He was transfigured before them. Moses and Elijah appeared as well. Then a bright cloud enveloped them and they heard the voice of God (Matt. 17:1-8).
The Lord had been changed into His glorified state, and was joined by Moses and Elijah, two men long dead. Moses was known as the law giver and Elijah was a great prophet of their past. Together they represented the Law and the Prophets, one of Israel’s names for the Old Covenant (Matt. 11:13), and therefore the nation itself. Peter, James and John represented the coming Church, the New Covenant. The bright cloud, known as the Shekinah Glory, was the Holy Spirit, from which came the voice of God. Put them all together and you have Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Israel and the Church. The three disciples had taken a trip far into the future where they were shown a representation of the coming Kingdom before tasting death.