Summary: Jesus said He was the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the 1st and the Last. What does that mean for us and how can that change our lives?
Back in 2008, there was a surprise best selling book entitled: “Not Quite What I Had Planned - 6-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure” Notice the first SIX words of the title. “Not Quite What I Had Planned.” The book essentially asked people to sum up their lives in 6 words. Amongst the entries were these:
• Stephen Colbert wrote, “Well, I thought it was funny.”
• A writer from USA Today - who reviewed the book - offered this statement: “Dad was Santa. Downhill from there.”
• Another writer summed up their life this way, “Never really finished anything, except cake.”
• Someone else wrote, "Followed yellow brick road. Disappointment ensued.”
• And still another commented, “Should have risked asking, he sighed.” (from a sermon by Ed Sasnett)
Now the author of the book apparently didn’t ask for Jesus’ reply, but Jesus might have said: “I Am The Alpha And Omega.” That 6 word statement literally sums up Jesus’ life. ALPHA was the first letter of the Greek alphabet and OMEGA was the last of that alphabet. So Jesus (in Revelation 22) said: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
This was literally, the last “I AM” statement by Christ in Scripture. And it was how the Bible presents Jesus to us. Jesus was literally the beginning of all things:
Colossians 1:17 says that Jesus "is before all things."
And the Gospel of John describes Jesus as the “WORD” and tells us “In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” John 1:1-2
So Jesus was “THE BEGINNING” of all things… and Jesus will literally be THE END of all things. The last words of the book of Revelation are these: “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. Revelation 22:20-21
Now, that’s all cool stuff, but what does that all mean to us? What does it mean to us that Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last??
Well it reminds us AGAIN. that Jesus is God. The terminology used in Revelation 22 is the same that’s used to describe God in several other places in Scripture.
In Isaiah 44:6 GOD declares “I am the first and the last”
And Psalm 90:2 states: “from everlasting to everlasting You are God”
And, in the first chapter of Revelation we find these words: “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” Revelation 1:8
He is the between the Beginning and the End of time, and His story makes its way through Scripture like a common thread. So, for Jesus to claim to be the Alpha and the Omega, was for Him to declare that HE WAS GOD in the flesh.
And because He was God, and because He IS the “Alpha and Omega” and the “Beginning and the End” - He IS IN CONTROL because He literally has me surrounded. And because He is before and behind and all around us, that makes it so that I can TRUST Him, therefore, I don’t have to be afraid.
ILLUS: This past week, some other preachers and I were talking about the present lock-down in our State. Some shared that many people were literally afraid because of the news they were constantly watching and hearing through social media and radio and TV. The fear was being expressed by people right here in our community, and you can understand why. But as Christians, we shouldn’t let that fear control us. As Jesus tells us in Revelation 1:17-18 “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”
Because Jesus is the Alpha & the Omega, the 1st and the Last, and the Beginning and the End, I don’t have to be afraid… because Jesus has it all under control.
ILLUS: I have a grandson. He’s handsome, and he’s smart (how could he be otherwise? After all, I’m his granddad!) and whenever we’re together we have a great time. But one of the things that humbles me is how much he trusts me. Some time back he was at my house for a couple hours. Now, whenever he’s there I’m usually no less than about 3 ft away from him at any given time, because – after all - he is a 2 year old and they 2-year-olds can find all kinds of mischief to get into! But at one point I had to be another part of the house for just a few minutes and I left him alone, thinking “what kind of trouble can he get into in just a few minutes?” I was wrong. I’d only been gone from the room about 5 minutes when suddenly I hear him crying out in panic. I rushed to the kitchen to see that he’d pulled a dining room chair over to the kitchen counter and had crawled up – belly down – on the counter to reach something. And there he was - his belly on the counter, his butt in the air, and his legs dangling in space about a foot above the chair he’d used. Now he actually wasn’t in any danger, but he didn’t know that. All he knew was that he was stuck and he had no way to get down. And he was afraid!