The Alpha and the Omega

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End”
(Revelation 22:13, NIV).

At Christmastime, we celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ to earth. But we also look forward to His second coming. In Revelation 22:12, the risen Lord Jesus announces, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” Then in verse 13, he identifies Himself as “the Alpha and the Omega,” which are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. What this means is explained by the following words: “the First and the Last (cf. Revelation 1:17; 28), the Beginning and the End.” All three designations occur with the repeated article “the,” signifying someone who is “one of a kind.”

What is significant about these titles for Jesus? They are significant because the same titles belong to God the Father.

In Isaiah 44:6, the Lord Almighty declares, “I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.” Earlier in Revelation, God the Father identifies Himself as “the Alpha and the Omega” (1:8; 21:6) and “the Beginning and the End” (21:6). Now in 22:13, Jesus applies these same three titles to Himself. All three expressions set Him apart from all created beings. The attributes of God the Father belong equally to Jesus Christ the Son. He is God.

In the context of His second coming, these titles confirm the eternal deity of Jesus Christ. He lives throughout eternity past as “the Alpha” and is the source of all things in the beginning (creation). He is the consummation of all things at the end (final judgment) and lives throughout eternity future as “the Omega.” Thus, He is uniquely qualified with divine authority as the righteous Judge to “give to everyone according to what he has done” (22:12).

The One whose human birth we celebrate this Christmas is the Alpha and the Omega, the eternal Son of God who is worthy of our adoration and worship.