Friday, October 19, 2012

The Alpha and Omega

Was Jesus a mere man? His self-description, particularly as found throughout the Apocalypse, says absolutely not! Whether describing himself as the Alpha and Omega (basically, the A and Z) or the first and last, or the beginning and the end the effect is the same--Jesus possesses the all-encompassing nature of God. Human history, really all of creation, is encapsulated by him. He was there before there was a here; he has been there throughout time when there was a here; and when time is done and here is no more, he will still be there.

Practically, I think Jesus was also trying to get across the idea that he is the source of life and living, that there is no life but in him, he is the life. The additional descriptor in the letter to the church at Smyrna, "who was dead and came back to life," which was appended to the first and the last  brings this particular into focus. In demonstrating his mastery over life and death his claim to be the all-encompassing God acquired significant validation. Clearly, he was claiming something more than just being a man, even an extremely holy one.

Believers can take heart and be bolstered knowing that this Jesus, to whom we cede fealty, is no mere man, but is demonstrably very God of very God. To know Jesus is to know God. To be his, to be given life by him is blessing beyond the measure of this present world. In Christ is a wealth that crosses the threshold of death and is unaffected by time. In this world we may have tribulation, and poverty, but in Christ we are actually rich beyond the endpoint of measuring whether alpha or omega.