Holy Trinity (Jn 3, 1–17; Is 6, 1–7)

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Blessèd be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity.

᛭ INI ᛭

Holy Trinity Sunday is a Sunday that might get is into some deep places. Things like “Substance” and other parts of God’s attributes that get thrown around on Trinity Sunday. Some of that’s helpful at times. There’s also all the analogies that get tossed around. Those aren’t really all that helpful.

But with Jesus’ Words from John chapter 3, we’re given a path through all the noise. We’re given something to hang our hat on, on such a Trinity Sunday as this. From Jesus, and from Isaiah, too, we rejoice that

THE HOLY TRINITY REVEALS HIMSELF AT THE CROSS, THE FONT, AND THE ALTAR.


Jesus gives us the way through because Jesus is the Son. You can Father, Son, Holy Spirit, or you can say Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit. They really do mean the same thing. Jesus is NOT just some “man sent from God,” like Nicodemus said. Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father. Always has been, always will be, eternally Son.

You don’t have to wonder what God’s like. You don’t have to worry about what’s coming around the corner. You don’t have to be focussed on the things God does NOT tell us. No need to focus on His unknowable, unsearchable ways. We don’t have to wonder or worry about the hidden God. Why’d this or that happen to me and not them? Last night’s storm is a good example of this. We’re always trying to guess and figure what God’s doing, even though He’s completely silent.

We need to repent of such things. We need to be saved from putting our words in God’s mouth, putting motives into His heart, putting our thoughts into His mind. Thanks be to God that He does speak: the Son comes, born of the Virgin, to reveal God to you. But not just to show up and shake your hand and say hi. No, it’s better than that.


Jesus reveals the Father. He reveals the Spirit. He reveals the Holy Trinity. But Jesus, as the Son, reveals the Holy Trinity in very specific ways. It’s concrete, real, something you put your hands on, and sink your teeth into. How does the Trinity reveal Himself according to Jesus? (Isaiah plays into this, too.) Well,

THE HOLY TRINITY REVEALS HIMSELF AT THE CROSS, THE FONT, AND THE ALTAR.

Jesus Himself talks about His cross and about Holy Baptism today. Isaiah talks about an altar, different altar than what we’ve got here, but, nevertheless, Isaiah saw the Holy Trinity in the temple along with the altar. In these ways we see that

THE HOLY TRINITY REVEALS HIMSELF AT THE CROSS, THE FONT, AND THE ALTAR.

Jesus said it: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that whoever believes would have life in Him.” The bronze serpent saved the Israelites from the curse of death brought on by the snakes. So also Jesus was crucified to save us from our sins, from their consequence of death, and “from him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb 2) Later in John, Jesus says, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM.” (Jn 8)

There is no God except Jesus dead on the cross. There the true God is revealed. Jesus dead on the cross reveals to us the whole will and knowledge of God. The Triune God is most clearly seen at Calvary, when the Son of God suffers under the Father’s wrath for you, for your sake, in your place. The Father gave up His only Son into death so that you wouldn’t perish. The Holy Spirit creates faith within you to believe what Calvary means.

But it’s not just Calvary. It’s also where you get united to Calvary and Calvary and Resurrection get united to you: Holy Baptism. In Holy Baptism you were given the new birth of water and of the Spirit. “Unless you are born of water and the Spirit you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” The Triune God isn’t seen as clearly as at Holy Baptism. He doesn’t let you peek behind the curtain, rather He comes from behind the curtain and clothes you. He gives you His name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Isiah saw Yahweh, the Holy Trinity, and was rescued from damnation by the coal from the altar of sacrifice. Only by being touched by the Sacrifice, from the Altar, “is your guilt taken away, and your sin atoned for.” This echoes the Supper of of Jesus’ body and blood. He gives you the fruits of His cross, His Sacrifice, in this Sacrament. The bread and wine that are His body and blood, touch our lips, when we eat and drink them, and by Spirit-worked faith we receive the benefit: “forgiveness of sins” before God the Father in heaven. The Spirit uses this truth to strengthen our faith.


THE HOLY TRINITY REVEALS HIMSELF AT THE CROSS, THE FONT, AND THE ALTAR.

He does this because He wants to be your God and for you to be His. There’s no reason to sneak around the curtain, to box Him up with whatever we use to get at the true God: the things we do, the things we feel, the things we know. None of that does any good, anyway.

After all, “‘who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things.” Even the cross, the font, the altar—where He reveals Himself to you as Your God. There He also wins and makes you His.

“Blessèd be the Holy Trinity and the undivided Unity.”

᛭ INI ᛭

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