Summary: Jesus is the eternal Lord, bigger than space and time. His time is always NOW.
As we begin a new year, let’s consider the One who is both the Beginning and the End. In this, the last “I AM” statement of our series, Jesus opens and closes the Book of Revelation by declaring that He is the “Alpha and Omega”. This would be like saying He is the “A to Z” and everything in-between! He is eternal and unchanging. Greeks often used symbolic letters to describe their deities; by describing Himself as the ÁÙ, Jesus is claiming supremacy over all so-called gods and earthly rulers.
J. Vernon McGee observed: “From an alphabet you make words, and Jesus Christ is called the "Word of God" - the full revelation and intelligent communication of God. He is the only alphabet we can use to reach God.”
The infinite, eternal God declares in Isaiah 41:4, “I the Lord—with the first of them and with the last—I am He.” For Jesus to use the same description is a declaration of deity. Psalm 90 says, “Before the mountains were formed, or the earth was brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting You are God” (2). Our hope is not in created things (like mountains), but in the unlimited Lord of all. He is the Source of all things, the uncreated Creator. “Think back as far as you can, and you still have God. Think ahead as far as you can and you will still have God” (Hendley).
As created beings, we have immortal souls, but we’re different from God, Who has no beginning. Through Christ we have “eternal” or “everlasting” life, but unlike God, we had a beginning. God alone has the attribute of eternity. In Isaiah 43 He announces: “Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me. I, even I am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior” (10-11).
One of many names of God in the OT is “the Ancient of Days,” a title used in Daniel in a vision of coming judgment: “As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of His head was white like wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels which were all ablaze” (7:9). The meaning of this title is that “God is more ancient than days; He was before all days, and His duration is not to be measured by them” (John Gill). Most Christians apply this title to Jesus.
However, if we regard Jesus as the secular world does, He would be just another moral teacher, but He did not leave us that option. With Jesus there is no neutrality. By His “I AM” statements He has clearly proclaimed His divinity as God-the-Son. Jesus adds that He is the one “who is, and who was, and who is to come” (Rev 1:8), which indicates His past, present, and future power and glory.
As the “Alpha and Omega” He is bigger than space and time. We just finished celebrating His birth, yet Jesus was present at the beginning of the universe, John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The Incarnation means that the Maker of Heaven and Earth entered history; He left the splendor of Heaven and came to share with us the very being of God.
We believe God is eternal, yet eternity is a concept beyond human comprehension because we are bound in time. God dwells outside of time. He is free from the constraints of time. Christ is the beginning and at the same time He is the end. He envelops time and space. In Him everything occurs. By Him all things have their being. All history is in His hands. It’s pretty challenging to wrap our heads around that.
Augustine was asked, “What was God doing before He created the world?” He replied: “He was creating Hell for curious souls!” Nonetheless, we are curious about eternal matters, and Scripture gives limited glimpses of this unseen realm, barely enough for our finite minds to process.
What about the recent books by people who’ve died and allegedly gone to Heaven? They claim to have entered eternity. I’m somewhat skeptical of these accounts; they are subjective yet hopeful. I met a surgeon wrote a book about patients who claimed they went to that other place, and didn’t want to return! While I believe in Heaven and Hell, I remain guarded by these claims…and I don’t need them to believe.
God created more than the world; He created time. Write the word TIME, than draw a circle around it. God is outside of that circle. What we call past, present and future are all in God’s “present.” A.W. Tozer notes: “God dwells in eternity but time dwells in God. He has already lived all our tomorrows as He has lived all our yesterdays.” God’s time is always now.