Summary: EASTER 3 - Believers still see Jesus today. As believers we see Jesus because we know, believe, and confess what Jesus does. Jesus removes the sorrow of sin. Jesus restores the joy of salvation.


May 8, 2011 -

Easter 3 -

JOHN 16:16-23a

INTRO: The resurrection of Jesus from the dead on third day is only one miracle that we celebrate at Easter (and every day). Another miracle we may not always consciously think of is the miracle of faith. It is only by the grace of God that we no longer live in the darkness of unbelief. How miraculous that out of the thousands who do not believe you and I and every believer in Christ has seen the very Light of the world! Such was the message Jesus lived out as the fulfillment of the words of the prophet Isaiah. "The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned" (MATTHEW 4:16). The women saw the empty tomb. Later Jesus appeared. The women, the disciples, and many others saw Jesus.

Today, BELIEVERS STILL SEE JESUS. As believers we see what Jesus does.

I. Jesus removes the sorrow of sin. II. Jesus restores the joy of salvation.


A. Verse 16. The words of Jesus are a mystery for the disciples. They struggle to understand.

1. Verse 17. The disciples wonder what it means to not see Jesus for a while and then see him.

2. The first Greek word “see” is “look at”. The second Greek word “see” is “recognize, know”.

3. They wondered how they would ”recognize” Jesus when they already were “seeing” him.

B. Verse 17b. Jesus also said he was going to the Father. The disciples did not understand which father.

1. Verse 18. The term “a little while” was also a mystery. How long was a little while?

2. “A little while” from the promise of a Savior to Adam and Eve was thousands of years.

C. Verse 19. The disciples kept looking for an answer among themselves. Jesus had the answer.

1. Verse 20a. Jesus gives the disciples even more to think about. Jesus points to his sufferings.

2. Jesus would be betrayed, grief. Jesus’ arrest is more grief. Soldiers crucify = more grief.

3. The world was rejoicing. Many made fun of Jesus. This “troublemaker” would be gone.

D. The Pharisees and other religious leaders thought they had “gotten even” with Jesus. Jesus would no longer be a threat to their existence. Not much has changed over the years. This week the feeling was that justice was done. This was because a wicked leader was killed. But whose justice was done? Was it the justice of one man? If so, who will be the next wicked leader targeted? We may run out of wicked leaders to assassinate. It was not that long ago when another wicked leader was brought to justice. He was tried, convicted, and executed. This was justice. We want to be careful that we do not take matters into our own hands that do not belong there. "The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies" (NAHUM 1:2). We may think that justice is never done the way we would like to see justice done. God carries out his justice in his own time and finally in eternity forever.

E. Who can truly understand the justice of God? We sin daily. We sin much in thought and word and deed. Justice demands payment for all of our sins. God’s justice is to send his own Son to take our place and pay for our sins and the sins of the whole world. "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted" (ISAIAH 53:4).

F. God’s justice is to show mercy even if it costs him a great sacrifice. We look at our sins and are saddened by them. We are filled with sorrow when we turn against our Savior time and again in our disobedience. What can we do? We cannot pay for our sins. We can never, ever do enough to earn forgiveness. We do not deserve to be forgiven. God’s justice is to forgive and forget all our sins. "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus" (ACTS 3:19, 20).


Jesus our Savior removes our sorrow of sin with free forgiveness.


A. The disciples were struggling with Jesus’ words. They would not see and then would recognize.

1. Jesus was returning to his father/ Father. How long was a little while? Grief turns to joy.

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