EASTER – WEEK 3 – SUNDAY
LESSON: JOHN 16:16-23
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” John 16:20
You see here how Christ announces to His disciples that they will become sad because He is about to leave them. They are still quite simple and unlearned, considerably disturbed by what Jesus said when He instituted His Holy Supper. They cannot understand what He is talking about. Indeed, the subject of Christ’s discussion here is too profound and incomprehensible for our weak, fallen nature. It was necessary for the disciples to be sorrowful before they experienced joy.
Christ Himself is an example for us, to show us that we cannot enter glory without a cross. That is also why He said to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26).
If the beloved disciples were about to experience great joy, it was necessary for them to have previously experienced great sadness. This joy, however, came to them from the Lord Jesus, for in the Gospel it is established that outside of Christ there is no joy. On the other hand, where Christ is, there is no sorrow, as we are clearly reminded in the text.
SL 11:830 (2)
PRAYER: In You alone, Lord Jesus, there is the true joy of salvation. Implant this in our hearts in full measure as our greatest treasure, for Your love’s sake. 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.