Alpha & Omega

A cross containing the Alpha and Omega letters

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 2

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”

Revelation 1:8, 21:6 22:12-13 ESVUK

The name Alpha and Omega is revealed as a name of the Lord God at the beginning of Revelation, a book written in an apocalyptic style of a vision John received on the Greek island of Patmos. We have to wait until the end of this strange book where the Alpha and Omega is revealed as Jesus in his return. In the book which in picture language talks about the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega appears at the beginning and the end of the book.

The Alpha and Omega revealed to be the Lord God and Jesus is the one who is and who was and is to come. From existing now in the 21st century, existing from eternity in the past and to eternity in the future. God existing from eternity [past] to eternity [future] has a long history in the Old Testament: “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children.” (Psalm 103:17). That idea is picked up in the New Testament by the writer of Hebrews: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).

The idea of God existing from everlasting to everlasting is picked up in Christian liturgy, in the ending that has been added to the prayer gave to his disciples to become what we call the Lord’s Prayer. “For ever and ever,” takes this, and together with petitions in the present time in the rest of the prayer testifies to God’s eternal existence as well as God existing among us in this present age.

The elephant in the room through this is that both the books of Hebrews and Revelation have taken things that were written about God and have applied them to Jesus. The conclusion is simply, implicit in these ideas even where it is not explicit. Jesus is God.

Jesus is the Alpha, the beginning, the creator of the world and the Omega, the God who will be around at the world’s end. I have no worries about the threat of bringing recompense, this is for those who willfully oppose God, as Jesus also says he is returning to bring the spring of the water of life to those who are thirsty. Like with all apocalyptic readings it is better to picture the words as a cartoon than as literal meaning. The return of Jesus is not a frightening thing but a thing of joy.

I finish with some words from the song Yesterday, Today and Forever by Vicky Beeching.

Always loving, always true,
always merciful and good, so good.
Yesterday, today, and forever,
You are the same, You never change.
Yesterday, today, and forever,
You are faithful, and we will trust in You.

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