“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,” and, “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:8-11)
I Am The Alpha And The Omega
Everything about man is finite. He has a beginning and he has an end. Life begins in conception and concludes in death. Time is measured by days, weeks, months, and years. When a man dies the inscription on his tombstone reflects a beginning point and an ending time. This is the nature of man’s mortality. The habitation of man is limited by space and time. There are depths the human body is unable to bear. While technology has allowed men to explore the vast oceans of the world and walk on the moon they cannot live there. Life on the International Space Station is limited by time. The longest single stay in space is 14 months. Travel to Mars is a one-way ticket (if even possible by humanity). The nearest star to the solar system is Proxima Centauri at a distance of about 4.22 light-years (40 trillion kilometers or 2.48548477 x 10 to the 13th power miles). And there are billions of stars in the universe. A French woman lived to be 122 years of age dying in 1997. She lived a very, very long life but she died. Everything about man is finite.
The early Christians were under the heavy hand of persecution and the Lord comes to the apostle John with a revelation to give hope and peace to the tormented saints. In the book of the Revelation, God reassures His children that life will be hard, filled with great trials and adversity and many will suffer great hardships for the cause of Christ. The reality of persecution is the inability to see a larger picture of what these trials will mean in the greater scheme of God’s plan. Faced with torture and cruelty, the early disciples needed the courage to endure to the end and to see hope in the victory of Jesus Christ. The Revelation will unfold the “behind-the-scenes” divine will of God for His church which the suffering saints could not see. To bolster the faith of His people, Jesus declares at the beginning of His message that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end; and He has a message for them. The Greek alphabet has 24 letters including seven vowels. Alpha is the first letter and Omega the last. Jesus declares that He is the Alpha and the Omega because He is not finite, He has no beginning and He has no end. He is everything.
The reassurance needed by the early Christians was to remember that the Divine was from eternity to eternity. Man was created on the sixth day but God existed before the first day. The history of mankind began when God formed man from the dust of the ground. This is the emphasis of the Alpha and the Omega to see that God existed before the creation of man. All men die and even though Methuselah lived to be 969 years old, he died. God does not die. The Divine has power and presence beyond death. The span of man’s life is limited in every way but God is unlimited in everything. There is no comparison to how great God is and how small man is. As someone said, “Oh God how large your ocean and how small my boat.” The infinite wisdom of God is beyond the scope of human knowledge. His power is so great the same sun, moon, and stars beheld by Adam and Eve on the first day of their creation is the same sun, moon, and stars filling the sky today.
Jesus is telling the Christians that He is the beginning and the end as the totality of all things measured by the will of God in the affairs of men. There is nothing men should fear when they serve the One who fills the time with His presence. No ocean is so deep the Lord cannot dwell. No particle of the universe is not touched by the finger of God. Life can be filled with sorrow, pain, and tears but the Alpha and the Omega will wipe away those tears. It was encouraging for the saints to be reassured that God cared for them and knew their trials. The Alpha and the Omega is larger than man. He is the entirety of all things. What is there to fear? Courage comes from knowing that the One who made the world still rules in the affairs of men. It matters not what happens in this life when the King of King and Lord of Lords rules with all power, dominion, and authority. He is the Alpha. He is the Omega. Praise God.