As you walk with Jesus through the events of this most holy of weeks, listen carefully for the echoes of the Old Testament in the words and the whispers of the New.
While it is true that Jesus fulfills many prophecies contained in the Hebrews Scriptures, it is important to remember that Jesus is the Word of God who spoke through those Hebrew prophets. Read John 1:1-14.
John says, “In the beginning was the logos, the Word, and the Word was pros ton theon”—with the God. And then John says that the Logos, the Word, was God. The Logos was God! He is called “theos.” The Logos, the Word, is God together with God. God from God, as the Nicene Creed says.
John continues: And this one, the Word, “was in the beginning pros ton theon”: with the God or around God or together with the God. “All things came to be through Him and without Him,” without the Word, “nothing that exists, came to be.” God created all that is through the agency of His Son. There is nothing apart from God’s Word. Read Colossians 1:15-20.
The Word of God (Jesus) is a reality that predates the giving of the Word by God to the writers of the Hebrew scriptures. The Word of God is a pre-existent eternal reality that also predates the sending of the Word of God into the world. So, the Word is God, and with God, all things came to be through this Word. Nothing that is “is” apart from the Word.
Reading the ancient Church fathers from Athanasius to Basil to St. Gregory the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, to John Chrysostom and others, we see that when each and all reflect on the opening verses of John’s gospel they say if you read the whole skopos of the Scripture, you will understand that God Almighty, the one true and living God, is never without His Word. Indeed, the Word abides with God. God and His Word are distinguishable but they cannot be separated; the Word is the Word of God, but there never was a time “when there was no Word of God.”
Athanasius says, “God is never alogos.” “Alogos” means wordless. God is never without His Word.
One way to understand this is to remember that a similar truth is revealed about God’s pneuma, God’s Spirit. God is never without His Word and God is never without His Spirit. The three are one in a way that is a mystery. The Spirit of God and the Word of God are with God from the beginning – they are God’s Word and God’s Spirit.
So, you cannot contemplate God and His revelation nor the life and work of His Son, Jesus, apart from the Spirit nor apart from the Word. It is a false bifurcation to separate Jesus from the Word of God. It is through the Word, spoken, written and incarnate that God makes Himself known. The Word is the agent through whom God reveals Himself – through Creation, through the prophets, through the Word made flesh, and the Bible received. It is the Word that is speaking, delivered, heard and obeyed.
This week, as you walk with the Word, attune your ear not only to hear the message spoken in the context of the week leading to the Cross, but hear the Word spoken throughout the entire witness of Scripture.