The supper has ended. Jesus has washed the disciples feet. He identifies His betrayer. And Judas has left the gathering and gone out into the night.
As they walk from the upper room and journey toward the Gethsemane’s garden, the disciples minds are racing with questions. Their hearts are troubled. There seems to be a sense of foreboding. Jesus, of course, knows their perplexing thoughts. He says, “Let not your hearts be troubled.”
He offers hope. Help. And a Helper. But they don’t understand. What does it all mean? Where is Jesus going? What’s going to happen? Sorrow begins to fill their hearts. And fear grips their minds. They wanted to ask, but didn’t. Or couldn’t. And Jesus knew it.
John records it.
Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy…. but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 15:19-22)
Indeed, over the next several hours, as Friday unfolds, the disciples will remember it as the saddest day of their lives.
Jesus is betrayed by Judas. His grief overcomes him, and his takes his own life. Peter succumbs to temptation and denies Jesus. Three times. When the rooster crowed the second time, remorse filled Peter’s heart and he went out and shed bitter tears.
From Jesus’ trial to His appearances before Pilate and Herod, sad faces sought to get a glimpse of the Teacher. As He carried the cross to Calvary, the women who followed Him mourned, lamented and wept. As his mother, Mary, stood at the foot of the cross, you can almost see her tear-filled eyes. and feel the heaviness of her heart as she watched her son writhe in agony and pain.
Following His death and burial, the disciples are scattered. Scared. And sorrow filled. They didn’t know it but Sunday was coming!
Incredibly, suddenly, and miraculously their entire demeanor changed. Sorrow was turned into joy. Despair gave birth to hope. And their sadness now became gladness. The tomb was empty! Jesus arose from the dead! Their Master was alive! Luke records they were filled with joy. John wrote, “Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” Yes, Friday’s sorrow had become Sunday’s joy!
Almost 2,000 years later, we can all relate. We’ve experienced Friday’s sadness. In fact, some of you are reading right now with a sad countenance. Heavy hearts. Tear-filled eyes. Your sadness may be the result of sickness. Suffering. Or the death of a loved one. It may disappointment. Discouragement. Or depression. You may feel abandoned by God.
Don’t despair. One day your sorrow will turn into joy. Your pain will be eased. Your suffering will cease. Your heavy heart will find comfort. Your soul will receive solace.
It may be Friday. But Sunday’s coming!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman