“Your Sorrow Will Turn Into Joy”
Scripture Readings: Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 24:50-53; JOHN 16:7, 20 (text); Acts 1:6-11
May 1, 2016 • Download this sermon (PDF)
Dear congregation of Christ: All of us are very familiar with the famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, when the two lovebirds declared their love for one another. Before they parted, Juliet, expressed her sorrow before Romeo left, “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”
God made man a creature of relationship. So whenever marriages are broken, sweethearts separate, friendships sour, parents say goodbye to their children who go to college, or a beloved family member or friend passes away, there is such great sorrow.
Our text today is part of the farewell discourse of Jesus in Chapters 13-17 of the Gospel of John, when he taught his disciples before he said goodbye. In our text, Jesus tells them that he will go away “in a little while,” but will also see them again “in a little while.” So the disciples were confused, not understanding what Jesus was telling them. When it became clear to them that Jesus was really leaving them, they were sorrowful.
Jesus was telling them about his death, resurrection and ascension into heaven. This Lord’s Day, we commemorate the ascension of Jesus into heaven. On the fortieth day after his resurrection, which is on Thursday, May 5, in the sight of his disciples, he was taken up into heaven by a cloud. Jesus told them in his farewell that their sorrow will turn into joy. And in fact, the disciples were joyful when Jesus left them in a cloud at his ascension.
Why were they joyful, instead of sorrowful, when Jesus left them? We will study these and other questions today as we study, “Your Sorrow Will Turn Into Joy,” under three headings: first, Because He is Our Advocate in Heaven; second, Because He is the Guarantee of Our Own Ascension; and third, Because He Sends Us the Holy Spirit.
Read the whole sermon here.