Since nobody knows what the end is from the beginning, it is comforting to know that we are not completely hopeless. Jesus himself said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev 22:13). In saying this, he is assuring us that if we have him, he will be with us not only in the beginning but until the end. This is consistent with his promise that he will never leave us nor forsake us. In fact, even before he went up to heaven, he commanded his disciples to proclaim the gospel, assuring them of his eternal presence saying, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20).
What does it mean for Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega? Since Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega is the last letter, it means that Jesus is our all in all. He covers everyone and everything in between those two letters. The apostle Paul appropriately described this when he said, “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all” (Col. 3:11). He does not distinguish people according to their race, status or condition in life. He died for all and the offer of salvation is for all. The apostle Paul further said, “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Col. 1:16-17).
Jesus also said that he is the First and the Last. By this he meant that he has always existed. Even from the beginning of time he was there as Creator, and at the end of time he will be there as Judge and Saviour. The apostle John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” (John 1:1-2). Describing the end of days, the apostle Peter said, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare” (2 Peter 3:10). Jesus is also the First Born among the dead; the one who rose from the dead to die no more. He will forever be Lord and he is from everlasting to everlasting.
Jesus is the Beginning and the End of all things; he started it and he will finish it. In his epistle, the apostle Paul encouraged the believers to endure in their faith saying, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil.1:6). Since Jesus started our walk of faith, he will walk with us through and through until the end. We can certainly look forward to a bright future and a great victory. This was the confidence of King David when he said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me….Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:4,6).
For Jesus to be the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, also means that he alone is Lord and there is no other. Through the prophet Isaiah, God revealed this truth when he said, “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isa. 44:6). In his own words, Jesus emphasized that there is no other way to salvation but through him. He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In the words of the apostle Paul, he said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
As the Alpha and Omega, Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. The Book of Hebrews beautifully portrays this truth when it says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Indeed, we can only be perfected in our faith and thus finish our race through Jesus Christ. If he is the Beginning and the End, we shall be sustained and helped in our walk. Yes, there will be a lot of struggles and challenges along the way but the good news is that he will finish it for us and he promised, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Rev 22:12). Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.