Text: John 16: 16-24
Text verse: John 16:24
Jesus teaches his disciples what the future holds. They have only seen Him for a short time. Then He will be crucified, but when He rises from the dead, they will see Him again for a short time.
Of course, the disciples did not understand this because they did not know what lay ahead for Jesus. Therefore, Jesus further explains this by pointing out that the disciples will be sad and grieving, while the world will rejoice. What causes deep sorrow to His disciples, creates great joy in the world.
The world is glad that Jesus is dead because in that way they feel like conquerors. They think that they are in control of circumstances and in that way can exercise dominance over everything and everyone.
It is no different today. We experience the pain and suffering of a world that thinks it is god. This world causes death because the world thinks it is in control. It kills as it sees fit.
We experience deep hurt due to the injustices of life. Injustices done to innocent people and how much more so in Jesus’ case. The most righteous man is crucified.
What we experience in this life is enough to rob anyone of all joy. That is why Jesus gives this hope to the disciples, and to us. A wonderful prospect that will make our joy complete! The wonderful thing about this joy is that no one can take it away from us (also see v. 22).
What is this joy?
1. We receive life
Jesus uses the metaphor of a woman whose time has come to give birth. The birth is painful, but the thought of the new person you are going to hold in your arms makes the pain worthwhile.
In the same way, Jesus’ death which is much like that birth process, also gives us new life. This new life is filled by the Holy Spirit that has been poured over us. He makes us new from within.
The new life we experience in us will be so much more glorious than the pain of this life and it makes this earthly pain bearable (also see 2 Cor. 4:17).
2. Full fellowship with God
Until Jesus’ resurrection, the people had to pray to God through a priest; Priests who themselves were weak and sinful and were often a greater obstacle than anything else. After Jesus’ death on the cross, we can approach the Father directly in prayer by calling on Jesus’ name.
We do not go to God because we are without sin, but because Jesus, as the perfect high priest, paid for all our sins. Also, all our questions and uncertainty will be answered by the Word and Holy Spirit.
This wonderful relationship that we can have with the Father gives the believer great joy in spite of the pain we experience in this life.