Around 95 AD the Apostle John, as the last survivor of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, was a prisoner of Rome confined to a remote penal colony located on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. John had been sentenced to prison for his incessant preaching about Jesus. But even in prison and well over ninety years old, John and his persistent message about Jesus Christ would not be silenced. It was on Patmos that John, through God’s angel, recorded “The revelation of Jesus Christ … to show to His servants the things that must soon take place (Revelation 1:1-3).” In His opening words of the Revelation to John, God refers to Himself as “the Alpha and the Omega.”
Revelation 1:8 (ESV) – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (See also Revelation 21:6, and 22:13.)
Alpha (uppercase “Α“; lowercase “α“) is the first letter of the classical Greek alphabet and Omega (uppercase “Ω“; lowercase “ω“) is the last. In Revelation God used the Alpha and the Omega symbols to represent His incomparable eternal nature. God is “the beginning and the end” (21:6), “the first and the last” (22:13). He is the Almighty … “who is and who was and who is to come” (1:8).
These descriptive statements in the book of Revelation are of critical importance to all Christians because they clearly state that Jesus existed before creation and will continue to exist for all of eternity. Jesus was not created, just as God was not created. Jesus was with God, in the second person of the Holy Trinity, before anything was created and took part in the creation. Jesus “was“, “is“, and forever more shall be … eternal. Alpha and Omega as names of Jesus signify the eternal nature of Jesus Christ as well as that of God … “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
What a wonder it must have been for John to see Jesus in all of His glory and to hear His words! Revelation 1:17-18 records the scene: “17 When I saw him, I fell at His feet as though dead. But he laid His right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore …”
Nothing could silence John. Not even prison on a remote island. And nothing can silence Jesus. He is indeed “the Alpha and the Omega.”
Lord, I give You praise as the one and only “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty … the Alpha and Omega … the beginning and the end … the first and last! Amen and amen.
email from Sue: 02/11/2015 @ 11:12 AM
Hello Jimmy! Thank you so much for sending this passage, Ireally enjoyed it. I always learn something from these and I didn’t realize the Apostle John was the last disciple. Revelations has always been fascinating and a challenge. Thanks again. Sue
Good to see you continuing on with the names of God posts Jim … Revelation 1:8 is such a defining verse of who God is … the I AM of eternity. Thanks brother! Bernie
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