Jesus, the Alpha and Omega

Symbol of Jesus Freaks; Alpha and Omega
Image via Wikipedia

Jesus was not part of a Greek fraternity, but if he had been it would have to be Alpha Omega.  These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet and a title given to both God the Father (Revelation 1:8) and to Jesus (Revelation 22:13).  It is this last passage that defines the meaning of the symbol, alpha and omega.  Jesus says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

For those of us who are used to thinking of Jesus as God, these words do not particularly stir our thinking or emotions.  But for those who were Jews, the idea of Jesus being the beginning and the end, the first and the last, was a notion they were used to attributing only to Yahweh.  In fact, in Isaiah 44:6, this is Yahweh’s way of identifying His uniqeness.  He is the first and the last.

For Gentiles, who were used to thinking of their gods as mostly dwelling in heaven and only occasionally coming down to earth to mess in the affairs of men, it was very strange to think of God taking on human nature, participating in both birth and, most embarrassingly, in death.  They would be equally offended by Jesus claiming to be the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

In so describing himself, Jesus is at once claiming to be Yahweh of the Old Testament, and yet a separate personage from the Father and the Spirit.  But because he and the Father and the Spirit share the same essence, each may legitimately be called God and be called the Alpha and the Omega.  Of each it may be said that they are the origin of all that is and the One who will bring all that is to its determined end.

Before anything existed, there was Jesus, the Father, and the Spirit, in the beginning (John 1:1), distinct individuals, yet one in essence, in perfect fellowship with each other and the authors of all that came to be.  Though during his earthly ministry Jesus purposely did not access his infinite knowledge (see Mark 13:32), once he ascended to heaven after his resurrection, he resumed participation in all the characteristics of deity, including infinite knowledge of all things from beginning to end.

So we have a Savior who is the author of all, the Creator God, who is at the same time in possession of a human nature just like us.  He has truly bridged the gap between us and God in his own person and made the way for us to have a saving relationship with God through his own sacrifice.  He is for us the beginning and the end of everything good in our lives.  He is the Alpha and the Omega.  What a fraternity of souls that is!

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