This magnificent title of our Lord comes to us in his final words to man as recorded in the last chapter of the Bible. Three times in this final chapter he declares, “I am coming soon!” (Rev. 22:20). The title, “Alpha and Omega,” gives credibility and authority to the stupendous promise of His return. Deity alone could make such a claim as this title asserts.
Alpha and Omega are words for the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Their meaning is explicit in the amplification Jesus Himself gives. He is the Alpha, the Beginning, the First. What a staggering claim! First—before the empires of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome. First—before the eons of time spoken of by geologists. First—before the Solar System, the Milky Way, the Pleiades.
He is the Omega, the End, the Last. What a blessed assurance.
“Father Time” is looked on as both a tyrant and a friend. Time will write wrinkles in our faces, turn our hair white (if it doesn’t take it away altogether) and rob us of our vigor. But time can also be a corrector of errors, a confirmer of truth, a healer of sorrows and our best tutor. Our seemingly long history on earth represents only an episode in eternity.
But Jesus has no beginning nor ending. He is eternal. Even our calendars pay homage to His superiority over time.
There is another intriguing dimension to this title. The alphabet represents absolute wholeness, completeness. It is an inexhaustible resource for all of us to tap. The same 26 letters used by Shakespeare to write immortal lines have been used by lovers to express their feelings, by judges to pass sentences, by presidents to issue proclamations, by a parent to guide a child. Jesus Christ as our Alpha and Omega is our resource and inspiration for the whole realm of life and communication.
As our Alpha and Omega, He is also the Lord of our beginnings and endings. He is there at the thresholds of our lives—birth, growing up, when the young person goes off to college, at the marriage altar, at the start of a career, when the first child comes—all our important beginnings.
He is there in our endings—when we leave home, at the completion of a task, the end of a stay, leaving a place and friends behind, loss of a loved one, retirement, death.
We take comfort and courage from this title, with its assurance that our times are in the hands of the Eternal, our life becomes complete in Him and He is the Lord of our beginnings and endings.
Henry Gariepy, Portraits of Christ