Summary: An expostion of Rev 1:1-8 focusing on Jesus being the beginning and end of our faith.
“I am the Alpha and Omega”
Pastor Jeff Williams
Good Friday Service, 2003
I’d like to start tonight with a bit a trivia. Can anyone tell me who the first man to step foot on the moon? That’s right, Neil Armstrong. July 19, 1969 was a big day in the Williams household. My father had borrowed a movie camera to film the grainy, black and white footage being sent back from Apollo on the small television in their living room. I also made history that day. Dad turned to see me walking across the room towards him with my hands held high. I was taking my first steps the exact same time that the astronauts were taking their first bounces on the moon’s surface. What a cosmic coincidence!
Now, who was the last astronaut to step foot on the moon? That one is a little more difficult. His name was Jack Smidt. Jack is not as well known as Neil Armstrong, but equally important in the history of lunar landings. When it comes to human beings who have walked on the moon, there is a first and a last.
What does this have to do with Good Friday? Tonight, we come to celebrate the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, The First and the Last” Jesus Christ. For the last six weeks we have heard Pastor Brian preach on the “I AM” statements of Christ. For the last six weeks we have seen God’s Spirit move mightily among our congregation and the sparks of revival start flying. Hearts are being changed, marriages revived, relationships mended, and souls thirsty for God are finding satisfaction in the oasis of His forgiveness and love.
We are tempted to credit human effort for this “wave” of the Spirit’s work. I can attest that no one works harder and presenting the Scriptures in a relevant, faithful way than Pastor Brian. Those of us who lead worship take seriously the charge to provide the congregation with an opportunity to connect with God through music. There are multitudes of volunteers who make the ministries happen that are sold out to the vision of reaching lost people for Christ. But let me make an observation. It is not what we are doing that is causing the blessing of God to be upon our efforts. It is because of what Jesus Christ has DONE that God is choosing to bless our spiritual socks off! It is all about Jesus. And there is no better picture of our Savior in all His glory than in the book of Revelation.
When the youth ask me to teach on their favorite topics, you might me surprised to know that the book of Revelation is their number one request. Year after year, students want to learn about the beast and the dragon, 666, and the lake of fire. When I suggest the book of John or Matthew, they yawn and report that they have been told that Revelation is “cooler.” They are scared to death by what this book teaches but continually try to read it.
Adults are not that much different when it comes to this fascinating account of apocalyptic images. “Armageddon”, the latest installment of the “Left Behind” series is currently number one on the best sellers list. Tonight, I am going to ask you to be courageous and turn in your Bibles to the last book – Revelation. There is no need to be afraid. The Book of Revelation is not a horror story, but a love story. It is exactly what the title suggests – a revealing. It is the unveiling of the central character in the history of redemption. The book is not focused on the what, but the whom of salvation – Jesus, The “I AM.”
Tonight, we want to focus on Jesus. Let’s begin by affirming that Jesus Christ is the reason why are here. That we believe that nearly 2000 years ago, a young Galilean rabbi was nailed to a cross on the hill called Golgotha outside of Jerusalem. We believe that rabbi was the promised Messiah and that His death conquered death, once and for all. We believe that this Friday is “good” simply because it meant the payment for our sins and our opportunity to have a relationship with God. Let’s celebrate that.
Worship Set I
Reciting of the Apostle’s Creed
The Old Rugged Cross
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
God is The Alpha and Omega
In the last song we sang, the lyrics echo our text in Revelation: “Alpha and Omega, You have loved me.” Turn with me to the first chapter of Revelation.
1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father-to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen. 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."