Sermons

Jubilate—Easter 4 (Jn 16:16–23)

Immanuel Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO
Bethlehem Lutheran Church—Bremen, KS || AUDIO

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS. It’s not long. It really isn’t. You don’t have to worry. You really don’t. “Weeping, be gone; Sorrow, be silent; Death put asunder, and Easter is bright.” (LSB 474:4) Still is. Not only because Jesus’ tomb is empty, that would be enough, I guess. But there’s more from the Lord—more promise! The Lord makes and keeps His promises. It won’t be long. It really won’t. It’s just a little bit. IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS.

((I. That was a promise—made and kept—for His disciples.))

That’s the promise Jesus made to His disciples: “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” They were worried about all that. Had lots of questions. Didn’t quite get it.

But it would be too long. Jesus doesn’t just make promises. He keeps them. John 16 is upper room, Maundy Thursday stuff. Really not long at all! Soon, they’d have sorrow. Much sorrow! The world would rejoice. Jesus was dead. Their Master, Teacher, Friend gone. They thought He was the Messiah, Yahweh Himself come to save His people—dead in a tomb.

The sorrow was short, too. It wasn’t long, at all. 3 days, in fact. Then, unending joy—He rose! It wasn’t just that He rose. He kept His promise: “a little while, and you will see me.” They really did see Him alive. He saw them too: “I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

It wasn’t long. Jesus made His promise, and, within 4 days, He kept it. That’s Jesus. Jesus keeps His promises. He empty-tomb keeps them. Today’s promise is no different. IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHLE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS.

((II. That’s a promise for you, too!))

Jesus doesn’t just make and keep that promise for His disciples back then. He does that for all His disciples. You’re a disciple. Jesus wants disciples made, and, for most of us, it wasn’t long until He did it. “Make disciples by baptizing,” He says. The sooner baptized, the sooner a disciple.

But that’s not all. “Make disciples by teaching.” Every time you hear His Word, preached and taught to you, the Lord is discipling you. Just as much as the Lord splashed the mark of disciple on your forehead in Baptism, giving you Himself, His cross and and tomb, so also He places the very same things into your ears, mind, and heart with His Word. Through Bible Study, you hear Jesus.

The life of a disciple is one of sorrow. We all have sorrow. Maybe you’re unhappy, stressed out, just getting by. Maybe you’re wracked with guilt. Maybe you’re life’s been rough. Maybe you’re mourning the loss of a loved one. Sorrow abounds.

You can have joy now, though. Jesus doesn’t abandon you. Doesn’t leave you alone. It won’t be long—not today! You really can “shout for joy.” Won’t be long: “Hosanna! Blessed is who comes in the name of the Lord.” “A little while,” and you’ll see Jesus. You’ll more than see Him: body and blood for you, in the bread and wine, on the altar for you to eat and to drink. There’s joy there! You’re not alone there either: “with all the company of heaven.” Your loved ones are here with us. They are face-to-face with the flesh-and-blood Jesus as we gather around the very same Jesus to eat and drink His body and blood, as He promises.

Soon, that’ll be you. Won’t be long. Yes, today. But also forever! One day you’ll have unending joy. It’s really not far away. Our lives our short. Then you’ll see Jesus. He’ll see you, too. Face to face you’ll see Him. IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHLE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS. For now, the closest you can get to Jesus is in the eating and drinking of His body and blood at Communion. You’re not left to yourself—not now, not ever! Just as surely as His Word says, so it is His body and blood; and just as surely your eyes, hands, and ears that see, receive, and hear Jesus now, will do that forever; and your mouths that eat and drink His body and blood will praise Him forever. It won’t be long. It really won’t.

((Conclusion.))

IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS. It’s not long. It really isn’t. You don’t have to worry. You really don’t. “Weeping, be gone; Sorrow, be silent; Death put asunder, and Easter is bright.” (LSB 474:4) Still is. Not only because Jesus’ tomb is empty, that would be enough, I guess. But there’s more from the Lord—more promise! The Lord makes and keeps His promises for His disciples. You’re that—baptized, taught. In those things Jesus is sealed to you. Sealed on your forehead at the Font. Sealed into your ears, heart, and mind through His Word, preached and taught.

It won’t be long. It really won’t. It’s just a little bit. Definitely today! Body and blood for you. We gather today with “saints and archangels,” “with angels,” “with Mary Magdalene, Peter and John,” and “with all the company of heaven,” those you love, too. But it really won’t be too long. Our lives are short. Then—“Easter forever!” Now, we have sorrow, but then no sorrow forever.

For the disciples it was less than four days before He kept His promise. He renews His promise to you in His body and blood given, shed, and now delivered to you. It won’t be long. He’ll keep His promise with you, too. IT’S ONLY A LITTLE WHILE UNTIL YOU SEE JESUS.

Alleluia! Jesus Christ is risen!
HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!

INI + AMEN.

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