Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
This is an amazing prophetic passage about what the disciples would experience as they would soon watch Jesus be arrested, scourged, tried, convicted and crucified. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to watch that happen but I do remember vividly what it was like to watch my dear wife Ellen pass from this life to the next. In the coming days the sorrow seemed so unbearable. Such is the experience that Jesus told his disciples about.
Looking back I imagine the disciples began to understand that all of Jesus' ministry was leading up, like the growth of a baby inside their mother, to the resurrection. When I think about a baby's growth in the womb I think about how the parents don't really have a clue as to what the baby will be like when they are born. Such is the image I see in the gospels. Who could have really imagined a world filled with disciples simply because of the resurrection?
Sorrowful death could not hold you Lord. I rejoice in that you are alive in me today!