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Who is Jesus?
Alpha and Omega
Part XXII of the Series. Bible study on Jesus as the Alpha and Omega.

In this series we're talking about the names and descriptive phrases identifying Jesus. Thus far we've talked about Jesus as God, Lord, Savior, Christ, Creator, the Word, the Son of God, the life, the Light, the Lamb of God, the Firstborn, the head of the church, our high priest and King, (also see high priest and King), our Advocate and mediator, an Author, a Shepherd, the bread 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 Omega.

"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 in Revelation.

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 and Omega."

  • "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; 22:13-14).

"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 end" (Barnes).

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.