Twice during my retreat I encountered this phrase from "The Sayings of Light and Love" of St. John of the Cross.
"God spoke one word."
I knew immediately the meaning, but it took a while for the implications to sink in. If God spoke only one Word, what are all those words in the Bible about? Yes, I know I'm slow, but obviously, every one of them is about Jesus Christ. How? Until I meditate on every one of them I cannot tell you. Truthfully even afterwards, I suspect that I will not understand the full mystery of it. Nevertheless, I know that it is true.
To give you an example, in this morning's Office of readings:
"Therefore, say to the Israelites: I am the Lord. I will free you from the forced labor of the Egyptians and will deliver you from their slavery. I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment."
There's more, but let's stop there.
What I heard as I read this substituted the words "your sins" for "the Egyptians."
" I am the Lord. I will free you from the forced labor of your sins and will deliver you from their slavery."
How will he do this? "I will rescue you by my outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment." Arms outstretched on a cross--the mighty acts of judgment, those which condemned the savior and brought Him to the cross, but also those that occurred after His death, in which the veil in the temple was torn in two, breaking the barrier between the Holy Spirit of God and His people.
This is an anticipatory reading of the passage. That is to say, it is reading into the passage and not the literal meaning. The literal meaning must be preserved, but the language used eerily forecasts the kind of redemption we were to receive.
Rolling this all into a ball and sending it spinning across the field, we come back to "God spoke one Word."
Praise the Lord!