“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
With these words, Jesus sought to comfort His disciples. Up to this point, He had been telling them that the world would hate and reject them. This is the case because the world hates and rejects Him, and, “A servant is not greater than his master.” (John 16:20a) Jesus continued, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you...all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake because they do not know Him who sent Me.” (John 16:20b-21)
The way of life will be difficult for the disciples, but first, “a little while,” and they will not see Jesus. Jesus is making His way to the cross. There He will be crucified. There He will die for the sins of the world—the propitiation, shedding His blood for the remission of sins. He will be taken down from the cross and placed in a grave. And the disciples will cower in fear and sorrow, hiding from those who hated Jesus because they will come after them.
“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.”
Jesus is dead and buried. The disciples weep and lament and are sorrowful. The world rejoices.