Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe the Alpha and the Omega

November 22, 2019

The Pastor's Page

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, and both Greek letters are symbols of his kingship.

Scriptural Basis. In the Book of Revelation the Lord God said, “I am the Alpha and Omega … the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty” (Rv 1:8). On another occasion God spoke similarly, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rv 21:6). These divine declarations are grounded in the Old Testament where God said, “I, the Lord, am the first, and at the last I am he” (Is 41:4b); “I am the first, I am the last” (Is 44:6), and “It is I who am the first, and am I the last” (Is 48:12). These sayings which are attributed to God the Father are also attributed to Jesus, his Son, who said: “I am the first and the last” (Rv 1:17), and, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rv 22:13).

AlphaJesus Is Timeless. The Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and it stands for the beginning. Its symbolism cannot be applied strictly because Jesus has no beginning. It represents how Jesus is pre-existent. Like God, his Father, Jesus has always existed. The Nicene Creed says that Jesus is “the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.” The Omega is the last letter of the Greek alphabet and it stands for the end. Again, its symbolism cannot be applied strictly because Jesus has no end. He exists forever. The Alpha and Omega represent the beginning and the end, how Jesus has always existed and how he will always continue to exist. He is infinite. The scope and length of his existence exceeds our understanding of chronological time in which things have a beginning and an end. Jesus always has been, he continues in being now, and he will always be. He spans the length of human history and beyond. He “is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Heb 13:8).

Jesus is Eternal. Some earthly kings have a short reign, days, months, or a few years. Others have a long reign, twenty, thirty, or forty years. The alpha and omega represents how Jesus reigns for all eternity.

OmegaJesus is All-Powerful. Some kings are extremely powerful. They commanded great armies, had great conquests, and ruled over vast territories. The power of Jesus far exceeds any human king. The alpha and omega represents his absolute sovereignty, how he is all-powerful, even greater than the power of Rome that was thought to be invincible. He is the “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rv 1:5), the King of kings (Rv 17:14; 19:16). Moreover, his reign encompasses everything, not just a geographical area but the entire earth, and not only the earth, but also the sun and the moon, the planets and stars, outer space and the galaxies – the entire universe.

Jesus is Everything. The alpha and omega represents Jesus’ completeness. There is nothing lacking in him or about him. He has everything and can satisfy our every need.

The Easter Candle. The Easter Candle has a cross on the front with an alpha on the top and an omega on the bottom. After the blessing of the fire during the first part of the Easter Vigil, the candle is blessed with these words: “Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages. To him be glory and power through every age and for ever. Amen.”

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About Father Michael Van Sloun

Father Michael A. Van Sloun is the pastor of Saint Bartholomew of Wayzata, MN. Ministerial interests include weekly Bible study, articles on theological topics, religious photography, retreats on Cross spirituality, and pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

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