I. "A LITTLE WHILE AND YOU SHALL NOT SEE ME."
A. Jesus is here referring to the three days and nights that He will be in the sepulchre.
1. Before the day which began at sundown is over, He will be beyond their reach as His body will be lying in the tomb.
2. Oh, what momentous events are about to take place that will thoroughly devastate the disciples.
3. They will see the mock trial, the chanting crowds persuading Pilate to crucify Him.
4. They will see Him hanging on the cross, and watch as the soldier runs the spear through His side.
5. Perhaps they will watch from the shadows as the body is wrapped and placed in the tomb, and the stone is rolled over the door of the sepulchre.
B. "Again, a little while and you shall see Me."
1. Here He is referring to the resurrection.
2. After the three days, they shall see Him again for He will rise from the dead.
3. These are some of the things that He desired to talk to them about, but they were not able to receive them.
4. They could not understand how the Messiah could be put to death. This did not fit into their pre-conceived ideas.
C. "Because I go to the Father."
1. In the garden on the resurrection morning, Jesus said to Mary, "Touch Me not, for I have not yet ascended unto My Father."
2. Here He is linking again His going to the Father with His resurrection.
3. It could be that the first One that He wanted to report to after the resurrection was His Father.
4. Being in His glorified form, He could have ascended to the throne of the Father to report in and tell of the accomplished redemption, before meeting the disciples on the road to Emmaus.
5. Heaven is not that far away.
6. We think of the throne of God being way out in space somewhere beyond our milky way galaxy.
II. "THEN SAID SOME OF THE DISCIPLES, "WHAT IS HE SAYING TO US?"
A. This sounded like a paradox, some kind of mystery.
1. It is amazing how when you do not have all of the facts, you can be so confused, and we often make the mistake of making a judgment on incomplete evidence.
2. I am amazed how quick people are to have opinions and to make judgments on issues where they only have partial facts.
a. I think that this is the reason that Jesus warned us not to judge. For our knowledge of the situation is incomplete.
b. The Lord has all the facts, and is the only one truly qualified to judge.
c. In Luke 6:37
, Jesus said, "Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned: forgive and you will be forgiven."
B. We cannot tell what He is saying.
III. "NOW JESUS KNEW THAT THEY DESIRED TO ASK HIM WHAT HE MEANT."
A. He could perceive their confusion so He tenderly seeks to clarify to them the events that will soon transpire.
1. I love the patience with which the Lord deals with our shortcomings.
2. He did not say, "Oh, you numbskulls! Can't you grasp anything?" But patiently and tenderly He explains the emotional trauma they are about to experience.
B. "Verily, verily." This always means to pay close attention. We might say, "Listen carefully now."
1. "You are going to weep and lament but the world is going to rejoice."
a. What a contrast there is between the Christian and the man of the world.
b. The contrast most sharply manifested in the relationship to Jesus Christ.
c. What we weep over, the world rejoices over.
2. I weep over the announced agenda of our new president, while the world rejoices.
3. I weep over the abortion of 27 million babies in the last 20 years while the world rejoices over their ability to choose to abort the unwanted baby.
4. I am disgusted with the filth that pours out from comedians, while the world laughs.
5. The disciples will be weeping and lamenting while the world around them is rejoicing.
6. More and more, I am realizing that I am not of this world.
C. "You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy."
1. When they see the crucifixion and the entombment, they will be sorrowful, but on the third day when they see the risen Lord their sorrow will be turned into joy.
2. How many things in life we sorrow over at the time we are going through them, for we do not see the final result.
3. If we could see beyond today as God does see, then all our tears we'd wipe away, our sorrows flee, O'er present griefs we would not fret, each sorrow we would soon forget, for many joys are waiting yet, for you and me.
4. Incomplete understanding often brings sorrow. They did not understand the resurrection.
5. Unbelief often leads to sorrow. I do not believe that God is going to work all things out for good.
D. Jesus gives an illustration that they could all relate to. A woman when she is in travail is in pain, but as soon as the child is delivered, all the sorrow of the travail is forgotten over the joy of the new baby boy.
1. Your spirit is going to go through great travail, but all of the sorrows will be forgotten when you see the risen Lord.
2. You are going to have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice.
3. Living the Christian life in this evil world can be a painful experience.
a. The first five seconds in heaven will more than make up for any sorrow or suffering that you may have ever experienced on this earth.
b. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase, so bravely run the race, till we see Christ.
c. They used to sing a song in church when I was younger, and I am glad that it got buried somewhere. "We'll talk it over in the bye and bye, We'll talk it over, my Lord and I, I'll ask the reasons, He'll tell my why, When we talk it over, in the bye and bye."
d. When I get a chance to talk with the Lord, you can be sure that I am not going to ask Him to explain why He allowed some dumb thing to happen to me on this earth.
4. The thing that I like about walking with the Lord through this pilgrimage, is even though the path is often veiled before me, and I might be passing through some deep valley of sorrow, or some fiery affliction, the path may seem dark and gloomy, there may be dangers on every side. I know the end of the story. "And they lived happily ever after."