Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

The Trinity Works Together for Our Rescue

While every analogy of the Trinity has its limitations, this picture illustrates one aspect of our Triune God—that they are all on the same team.

Say a family is trapped in a forest fire, so a helicopter team undertakes a rescue. One fireman flies the helicopter over the smoky blaze to coordinate the operation and see the big picture. A second fireman descends on a rope into the billowing smoke below to track down the family and stand with them. Once he locates the family, he wraps the rope around them, attaching them to himself, and they are lifted up together from the blaze into safety. In this rescue operation the first fireman looks like the Father, who can see the whole field unclouded from above to sovereignly orchestrate the plan.

The second fireman looks like the Son, who descends into our world ablaze to find us, the human family, and identify with us most deeply in the darkness of the grave. The Spirit is like the rope, who mediates the presence of the Father to Jesus, even in his distance, and raises Jesus—and the human family with him—from sin, death, and the grave, into the presence of the Father. Of course, like all analogies, this one falls short. The Spirit is a person, not a thing (like the rope). And the Father, Son, and Spirit are not separate individuals but the one God, sharing a divine nature and essence as one being.

Possible Preaching Angles: The point of the analogy is this: the rescue mission requires the interdependent action of all three persons. Each has a distinct and necessary role. And yet, zooming out, they are undertaking one united, joint action: the rescue of the human family. We miss what is happening if we pit Jesus against God, or God against Jesus. The Father, Son, and Spirit are working together at the Cross, of one will and nature, in a united, joint action for the redemption of the world. The Cross is a triune act.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Church Father Tertullian on Trinity

It is an image of the Trinity as a plant, with the Father as a deep root, the Son as the shoot that breaks forth into the world, and the Spirit as that which spreads beauty and fragrance. ...

[Read More]

Our Weird Conceptions of the Trinity

Author Michael Reeves, author of the book Delighting in the Trinity, expresses our basic problem with the Trinity—that the Trinity is "seen not as a solution and a delight, but ...

[Read More]