EASTER – WEEK 3 – MONDAY
LESSON: PSALM 30:1-5
“A little while, and you will see me no more; again, a little while, and you will see me.” John 16:16
“A little while,” Jesus says, “and you will see me no more.” He is about to be taken captive and put to death on the cross. But this will not be for long. During this “little while” they will certainly be sad. “But cling firmly to Me and follow me,” the Lord means to say to His disciples, “matters will soon take a turn for the better.” He would be in the grave for only three days, during which the world would rejoice as though it had triumphed over Him. And His disciples would mourn and weep.
“Again, a little while, and you will see me,” says Jesus to His disciples, “because I go to the Father” (cf. John 16:10). He would rise again on the third day, and they would rejoice, and their joy no man would take from them. It would not be a joy just for three days like the joy of the world, but eternal joy. In these words, the evangelist John has set forth an excellent summary of the death and resurrection of Christ: “A little while, and you will see me no more; again, a little while, and you will see me.”
The “little while” has special significance for us. Grief is but for a moment, a “little while,” as the Lord also reminds His children through Isaiah, “For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing wrath for a moment, I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:7-8).
SL 11:831 (4-6)
PRAYER: You have assured us, heavenly Father, that You will never lay a cross on us without supplying us with the strength to bear it and that joy will always follow our sorrows. Fix this firmly in our hearts by faith, so that we boldly endure unto the end, in and through Jesus and His love. Amen.
Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 3:72-86.