Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Jesus: A to Z?
The expression “Alpha and Omega” fittingly appears at both the beginning and end of the Book of Revelation (Revelation 1:8, 21:6, 22:13). At the beginning of the book, God uses the self designation (Revelation 1:8) and at the end of the book, it is Jesus using the epithet (Revelation 22:13). Based on these passages, an Alpha and Omega in juxtaposition are commonly used as a Christian symbol.
Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet respectively. The English equivalent would be that Jesus is the A and the Z. God and Jesus are at the beginning and end of all things. Bill Cosby once quipped, “My father established our relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you into this world, I’ll take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.’” Like Cosby’s father, God was there at the beginning and will be there at the end.
What of the letters in between? Is God as active at point M as at A and Z?
The real implication is that God is eternal. God’s everlasting nature is cited at the beginning and end of the most apocalyptic book of the Bible. When Jesus speaks of the apocalypse in the “Little Apocalypse” of Mark 13, he notes, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away (Mark 13:31, NASB; also Matthew 24:35, Luke 21:33).” When dealing with the apocalypse, Jesus too stresses his interminable nature.
Why when discussing the end of all things does the Bible emphasize the eternal nature of God? Does this give you hope? Why? Why not?