The Old Testament prophet Isaiah saw a vision of the triune God calling him into service. He watched angels worshipping the triune God, proclaiming to one another in a threefold praise to a three-in-one God, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:3)!
Then Isaiah heard the voice of the three-in-one God asking, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us” (Isaiah 6:8)? God uses the singular pronoun “I” to reveal that he is only one God, not many gods; then God uses the plural pronoun “us” to reveal that even as he is one God, he is three distinct persons.
The triune God would then reveal more details to the prophet Isaiah. Particularly, he would unfold how the three persons of the triune God would each carry out a plan to save sinners like no other god or human could ever do.
Speaking about his one and only Son, God the Father announces, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1).
Over the centuries of time God, the caring and protective Father of all believers, has summoned a variety of people and objects to serve his saving purpose, including Abraham and Moses, pagan kings like Cyrus, waters and mountains, donkeys and snakes. In this promise, the servant is his Son Jesus Christ. God the Father promises to uphold his Son, to hold onto him tightly when he sends his Son to this violent and volatile earth to be born, to live, to suffer and die, and to rise again for sinners. The Father delights in him, like a proud dad watching his boy hit a home run.
How would the Son respond? Would he grumble and grouse that his role would require blood, sweat, and tears while the Father and Spirit stayed behind the scenes? He speaks in a later chapter of Isaiah, “And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, with his Spirit” (Isaiah 48:16). Jesus, almighty, holy, eternal, and limitless in all he says and does, calls his Father “the Sovereign Lord,” bowing down in submission to the Father even though he is in no way inferior.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t just come along for the ride in God’s saving operation. He actively participates by anointing the Son and pouring out his gifts that equip the Son to serve as the Savior of the world. The Son who is the servant speaks again through Isaiah the prophet, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:1,2).
The Holy Spirit’s role is not behind the scenes at all. The Holy Spirit actively equips the Son throughout his ministry—authorizing him to preach the good news and planting his words of forgiveness in the hearts of poor sinners like seeds that will bear abundant fruit. The Holy Spirit uses the healing power of Jesus’ love to restore the wounded souls of brokenhearted sinners. The Holy Spirit gives Jesus courage, supplies Jesus with strength, fortifies Jesus with zeal, encourages Jesus with guidance, and invisibly accompanies the words and works of Jesus to accomplish their divine intent in believers.
The true, triune God has existed from eternity with your well-being in mind. Oh, the plans he has for you! Plans that have already begun, are unfolding now and extend over the horizon into heaven. So spend more time with God exploring these plans, and praising him for his glorious grace.
PRAYER: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, dear God. You are beyond the grasp of understanding, and your love is too immense to measure. This makes you more than capable of being my Savior, and of giving me everything I need. I trust in you. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Say a prayer today about the triune God using the PRAY acronym.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about his three-in-one essence)
- Repent (tell God about your inability to save yourself, tell him that you trust in his ability to save, forgive and restore)
- Ask (focus on a spiritual blessing that deepens your relationship with God)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)