The book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible. As mentioned in the first verse, this book aims at revealing Jesus Christ. The word ‘revelation’ comes from the Greek word ‘apokálypsis’ and means: ‘making naked’, ‘a disclosure of truth concerning things before unknown’, or ‘manifestation.’
Consequently, the purpose of this book is to manifest the hidden truth about Jesus and to let everyone discover who He truly is. In this article, we will focus on the first revelation John received concerning Jesus.
THE FIRST WORDS OF JESUS IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION
An essential element of Jesus’ identity can be found in Revelation 1:8:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
The Alpha and the Omega are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabet – language in which the New Testament was written. The combination of these two letters illustrates the eternal character of Jesus. This truth is reinforced by the title ‘the Beginning and the End’. Indeed, Jesus has ‘neither beginning of days, nor end of life’ (Hebrew 7:1-3). The Greek terms for ‘beginning’ and ‘end’ can also be translated by ‘origin’ and ‘purpose’, which reminds us that everything was created by and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16).
In his second intervention, Jesus repeated the same words adding more details about their profound signification.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last […] ” Revelation 1:11
The Alpha and the Omega is also the First and the Last. On the one hand, ‘the First’ suggests that Jesus is the First in time, place, and rank in any succession of things or persons (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, 18). In other words, He is the Chief (Colossians 1:17). On the other hand, ‘the Last’ refers to the fact that Jesus is also the Last in time, place, and rank. So Jesus is at the end of everything; this title also underlines His great humility. Indeed, Jesus is the One who ‘being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross’ (Philippians 2:6-8).
A REVELATION THAT CASTS OUT ALL FEARS
When John first saw the Alpha and the Omega, he fell at His feet like dead, but He laid His hand on him saying: “[…] Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Revelation 1:17-18). To strengthen John, Jesus reminded his beloved disciple that He is the One, who died on the cross, and raised from the dead defeating death and its power. Then, delivered from fear, John could confidently fulfill his mission.
The same revelation was given to the church of Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11). This church symbolizes the persecuted church; in the midst of her suffering, she needed to know that Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the First who raised from the dead, and the Last Adam, a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). Therefore, this revelation could cast out all fears towards death and suffering, and would eventually help the people of God to remain faithful despite tribulation.
Likewise, we also need to realize that Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the One, who was, and is, and is to come. Before our trial started, He was; and when everything finishes, He will be the same (Hebrew 13:8). He was slain before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8), so knowing that the solution came before all our problems, we can finish the race fearless. Finally, embracing this truth and knowing whom we have believed will enable us to be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32; 1 Timothy 1:12).
THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA IS HE WHO SEATS ON THE THRONE
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” Revelation 21:5-7
He who sat on the throne presented Himself with the very same words Jesus used to introduce Himself in Revelation 1:8: ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End […]’.
The Scripture clearly says that He who seats on the throne is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, and God Himself. Consequently, we understand that Jesus is YHWH, the only true God, who is coming quickly.
Say to those who are fearful-hearted,
“Be strong, do not fear!
Behold, your God will come with vengeance,
With the recompense of God;
He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:4
“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6
“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:12-13