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IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. (John 1:1-4 AMP)
For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 KJ2000)

As in nature, the way to life in the kingdom of God is through death. Jesus said, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone." We see a vivid picture of this when Israel crossed the Jordan River to enter the land of promise. Joshua put twelve stones (one for each tribe) in the middle of the river in a figure of baptism into death. Then they took twelve more stones from the bottom of the river bed and placed them on the bank of the river in the Promised Land as a sign of resurrection life, free of their old lives of unbelief in the wilderness. Then the waters closed over the first stones as a sign that they were to leave their stony hearts and the reproach of Egypt behind them to enter a new life. (See Romans 6:3-11 and Joshua 4:9)

In Hosea 6:2 we also see this principle of death overcome by life just as Jesus overcame His own death and rose again on the third day. "After two days will he revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him." Yet, this promise is to us and not Jesus alone! We died in Christ, but we also rose again in Him. After two days, our Father revived us when He revived Jesus. Now we have been raised up and sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We live before our Father in heaven! Can we grasp that? Just before He went to the cross Jesus told the disciples,

Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. (John 14:19-20 KJ2000)

The prophecy of Hosea was fulfilled almost 2000 years ago. We who are Christ's live in Him and He in us. He has risen from death in us and we together with Him are in our Father. (Note: In a sense this prophesy will be fulfilled again in the ekklesia of God rising again from its religiously imposed death when it turns to following the voice of God once again, "After two days I will revive you and in the third day I will raise you up and you shall dwell in my sight." Many prophecies about Jesus also apply to those who live in Christ as His bride.)

Nothing so vividly captures this principle of the exchanged life as the cross. The cross was an instrument of death and shame. It was despised by the Jews, in whose law it was written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree . . ." Even the Romans who loved the brutality of the coliseum abhorred the gore of the cross. The Roman statesman, Marcus Cicero, wrote, "Let the very name of the cross be far away not only from the body of a Roman citizen, but even from his thoughts, his eyes, his ears." It was forbidden for Romans to be crucified because it was considered the death of a slave--a description that certainly fits the servant-hood of Jesus Christ. His whole life was in service to His Master, the Father, and finally to and for all who would be saved by faith into Him.

In spite of the pain, suffering and open shame of Jesus on the cross, this act remains at the center of all God's dealings with men. The Word of the cross was central to the redemptive purposes of God. So much so that Paul wrote, "For the word (logos) of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18) The King James Version reads, "For the preaching (logos) of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." This is somewhat misleading, because the Greek word logos is much broader in scope and meaning than the word preaching conveys. When you hear the word preaching, what comes to mind? Do you envision a man standing behind a pulpit expounding on a Bible text? Although the Greek word logos means "a word," the emphasis is not upon the utterance itself, but upon the inward thought, reckoning or reason behind the utterance. The logos of the cross is the logic or reason of the cross. But more, logos is the Divine thought, the heavenly principle of life, power, witness and growth in the kingdom of God. When our Father said to Jesus before the dawn of man, "Let us make man in our image and in our likeness," He had all this in mind. Jesus, the Word, is God's answer to man's defects and man's imperfection. This is the power in Paul's words, "I am determined to know nothing, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified."

The prologue of John's gospel reads, "In the beginning there was the Word (logos). The Word (logos - not preaching) was with God, and the Word (logos) was God. He [the Word] was with God in the beginning. All things were made by him, and nothing was made without him. In him there was life, and that life was the light of all people. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overpowered it." (John 1:1-5 NCV) Jesus was in the beginning with the Father. Jesus is the very Word of God that comes forth from His mouth with power. Everything was made by Christ as God spoke it into existence. Jesus is the Life of God spoken into creation. Jesus is that Light that God made to shine into the darkness that resulted from satanic chaos and rebellion from where the Genesis accounts starts, "darkness (Heb. choshec –chaos, destruction, wickedness) was upon the face of the deep." Jesus is the power of God unto the salvation of the world. He is still overpowering the darkness and wickedness in the hearts of fallen man as the Logos of God speaks into their hearts.

The translation of the New American Standard Version of our verse in First Corinthians comes the closest. "For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." The author of Hebrews wrote, "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world." (Hebrews 1:1-2, RSV) The prophets spoke about the Word, but Jesus came as that Word, the very Oracle of the Father. Jesus is the Logos, the Word, Father's Divine thought. He is the Word of God who is alive and powerful, able to separate soul from spirit, bone from marrow, discerning the thoughts and intentions of men. He is God's final and ultimate word from the beginning of creation unto the end, the Alpha and the Omega! Jesus is the sum total of divine wisdom.

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