19 May 2019
Jesus Turns Sorrow into Joy
Jesus said; “on earth ‘you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20)
1. On earth, you will be sorrowful. There are many kinds of sorrows and suffering which may at times visit us. Self-inflicted suffering. Suffering from infirmities of our mortal bodies. Sorrow from separation by death. Suffering that tries and tests us. Suffering to develop our spiritual strength. Suffering to humble us and lead us to repentance. These sufferings, which we endure reminds us of two realities.
A. This is a fallen world. We are living outside of Eden.
B. As a result, life is often out of sorts. And we attempt to make things normal again. Unfortunately, the way it is can never return to the way it was.
2. But your sorrow will turn to joy. This is the Lord’s promise for you. Out of suffering, sorrow, and sadness - joy will come.
A. Realized by faith in the risen Christ. Who will wipe away every tear from your eye.
B. Thus, fix your heart where true joys are found. Fix your focus on Jesus.
Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter: O God, You make the minds of Your faithful to be of one will. Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where true joys are found;
Jesus reminds us - you are going to be weeping and lamenting while the world around you is rejoicing.
1. When the disciples saw Jesus hanging on the cross, and they realize that when He talked about His crucifixion, they would weep and lament.
2. Their hopes would be dashed; they would lose their will to live.
3. On that Sabbath, they sat weeping and lamenting. They were feeling total despair. The Savior was dying. They had no hope.
4. That Friday was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. That was probably one of the most miserable days of their lives.
5. All their hopes and plans for the future were shattered. How do you go back to try to pick up the broken pieces of your life to start over again?
6. Oh, what a difference a day can make. It is the Day of Resurrection!
Jesus said, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
1. Just a day. But what a difference. When Resurrection Sunday comes and they find that, the tomb is empty.
2. "Why are you seeking the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen just as He said."
3. Jesus said to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus when they spoke of their hope in Jesus in the past tense. “Oh foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have said concerning the Messiah.”
4. What a contrast of emotions from the deepest sorrow, to the highest joy. The disciples turned from sorrow to joy. It was the resurrection of Jesus and His appearance to them, which changed not only their outlook but also their perspective on everything.
What was it that brought them such great sorrow?
1. Their failure to believe Jesus’ word. They didn’t understand what He was saying, and they soon forgot. They were too preoccupied with what was happening to them at the moment, and they couldn’t grasp what He really meant. After all (they might have said to themselves), no one ever comes back from the grave. The Bible tells us they didn’t recall His words until after the resurrection. John 22
2. It was their doubt and unbelief. The disciples’ failure should remind us of our own failure to understand or believe everything God has told us. How often — even today — have you forgotten God’s promises to be with you and help you?
3. Doubt and unbelief will have you weeping when you should be rejoicing. Job doubted God’s goodness when his children died and his livelihood was gone. Abraham and Sarah doubted God’s promise, as they grew older and found themselves still without a child of their own. Gideon doubted God could use a man like him to fight his upcoming battle.
4. Doubting God's word can cause great anxiety and sorrow. Lamenting in prison John would have to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” Now sitting in prison, John was plagued with tormenting doubts and fears. Had his ministry been in vain? Had he been wrong about Jesus? Was God now punishing him for his mistake? Jesus brought them close and let them see how He was fulfilling the very Scriptures He knew John needed to hear. Christ loves you in the midst of your doubt. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Place your doubts, fears, and anxiety into His capable hands.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
1. Today, He can give you beauty for ashes.
2. The oil of joy for your mourning.
3. And the garment of praise for your heaviness.
The resurrection is what did it.
1. Resurrection Sunday was more than just the resurrection of Jesus.
2. It was a resurrection of the disciples’ joy. The Resurrection is a proclamation that Jesus is alive and present with us. In the Resurrection appearances, the disciples experienced Jesus in their midst. The same Jesus who had walked with them now again touched their lives, and spoke and ate with them.
3. It was a resurrection of the disciples’ hope. The Resurrection proclaims that Jesus is with us as well. The Ascension is not a declaration of Jesus’ absence. Jesus is now present in every space and time. We encounter Jesus in the Scripture, in the sacraments. As we recall the stories of the Resurrection appearances, Christ is once again with us, forgiving, feeding, and consoling.
“On earth ‘you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” Alleluia, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!
Reading Level – 5.3
Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Resurrection of our Lord’ © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use