Sermon Illustrations


In January 2001, Seiko Sakamoto, a Japanese plasterer in a Tokyo subway station, fell into the path of an oncoming train. Lee Su Hyun, a Korean student in Japan, leaped down on the tracks to save Sakamoto. Both Hyun and Sakamoto were killed.

This selfless act by the Korean student on behalf of the Japanese laborer has caused many people in Japan to reconsider their long-held prejudices against Koreans. Strong feelings of distrust between the two countries go back to World War II atrocities that the Japanese inflicted on Koreans. Many Japanese people, including the prime minister of Japan, have openly expressed sorrow over their stereotypes of Koreans and have begun to talk about reconciliation.

Nobuaki Fujioka, sixty-two, of Japan, says, "I felt a kind of shame. A young foreigner sacrificed his life for a Japanese. This is not an easy thing to do."

By giving his one and only Son, God took the initiative in healing our broken relationship with him. He made the supreme sacrifice for us that we might be reconciled to him.

(Craig Brain Larson and Phyllis Ten Elshof. 1001 Illustrations That Connect. [Shigehiko Togo and Doug Struck. "Japan Searches Its Soul to Fathom Fatal Gesture". Washington Post, January 30, 2001]. Grand Rapids; Zondervan, 2008, p. 343). From a sermon by John Williams III, Connecting the Disconnected, 6/16/2011)

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