In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive
phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about
Jesus as God,
of God, the life,
of God, the Firstborn,
of the church, our high
priest and King, (also see high
priest and King),
and mediator, an Author,
of God and bread of life, our
hope, and the propitiation
for our sins, and .
In this article, we talk about Jesus as the Alpha and
"Alpha and Omega"
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the
Greek alphabet, denoting the first and last, and the
beginning and end (Rev. 22:13).
The phrase is used of the Father and Jesus in Revelation
(Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13), speaking to the eternal nature
of God, thus affirming the deity of Christ.
Because it expresses His deity, the phrase "Alpha
and Omega" also expresses Jesus' power to carry out
the Father's plan of redemption, which is a major theme
Jesus has unlimited power to save the elect, and destroy
the enemies of the cross.
Barnes says regarding this phrase in Rev. 1:8:
Compare Isaiah 41:4, "I the Lord, the first, and
with the last;'-- Isaiah 44:6, "I am the first, and
I am the last; and beside me there is no God;" --
Isaiah 48:12, "I am he; I am the first, I also am
the last." There can be no doubt that the language
here would be naturally understood as implying divinity,
and it could be properly applied to no one but the
true God. The obvious interpretation here would be
to apply this to the Lord Jesus. . . .
"First and Last"
Three times in Revelation, Jesus refers to Himself as
the first and last (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13). And once,
He uses it in direct connection with the phrase "Alpha
- "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and
the last, the beginning and the end" (Rev. 22:13).
The phrase "first and last" is used by God in Isaiah
(Is. 44:6; 48:12), and is used by Jesus of Himself in
Revelation (Rev. 1:17; 2:8; 22:13).
Likewise, the phrase "living One," which Jesus uses
of Himself, linked to "first and last" in Revelation
1:17, was similarly used of God.
Again, Jesus emphasizes His deity. He is the first
and last, the living One who has the keys to death and
Hades. He has the power to wash our robes in His blood,
to give us the right to the tree of life, and to grant
us entrance into the heavenly city of God (Rev. 1:18;
"Beginning and End"
The phrase "beginning and end" is used twice in Revelation,
once by God and once by Jesus (Rev. 21:6; 22:13).
It's used by Jesus in connection with "Alpha and Omega"
in Revelation 22:13, again denoting His deity and power.
But additionally, the phrase "beginning and end" means
Jesus is the whole of everything. In other words, as
we sometimes sing, "He's My All in All."
- "Among the Jewish Rabbins, it was common to use
the first and the last letters of the Hebrew alphabet
to denote the whole of anything, from beginning to
As the beginning and end, Jesus is the author and
finisher of our faith.
- "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher
of our faith. . . ." (Heb. 12:2, NKJ).
Our hope is in Jesus: His divine power, His sacrifice,
His priesthood, His mediation and advocacy, His salvation
of our souls.
Jesus is our "All in All."
By using the phrase "Alpha and Omega," Jesus declares
His deity and divine power in which we trust for salvation.
Because of this hope, we eagerly wait for His coming,
to take us home to heaven, where we'll worship God forever.
As the old song says:
When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we'll sing,
Hallelujah! What a Savior!
To be continued.