December 25, 2020. Day 360: I am the Alpha and the Omega.

Revelation 1:8. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Revelation 21:6. And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.

Revelation 22:13. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Merry Christmas everyone!

As we ponder the birth of Jesus today, let us not forget just who that little baby in the manger truly is. The child born of Mary, sleeping on her lap, held in Joseph’s arms, looking up at shepherds and smelling like sheep, that little baby is the Alpha and Omega. The first and the last. The beginning and the end. From the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, this title was given to the Caesars of John’s day. But here three times in Revelation, John transfers this title back over to Christ where it belongs. To Yahweh, the true first and last:

Isaiah 48:12. “Listen to me, O Jacob,
    and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
    and I am the last.

The Chosen: the birth of the Alpha and Omega.

Our Alpha

In John’s gospel prologue he declares Jesus, the Word, to be God and with God simultaneously. Jesus is eternally God, and he is eternally other than God at the same time. He is eternally begotten of the Father. Or eternally generated from the Father. I know this is deep, but what this means is that everything (yes everything) that is not God, or that is “other” than God, comes from Christ Jesus. Everything in the universe was IN Christ, came into being THROUGH Christ, and BY Christ. In him was the blueprint and building supplies for all matter, all creation, all life.

Romans 11:36. For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

It’s easy to fall into the mistake of thinking that baby Jesus in the manger is the beginning of Jesus. But nothing could be more wrong. In fact, everything in that nativity scene is from out of that baby. Mary was in Christ long before Christ was in Mary. So too Joseph, the shepherds, the sheep, the wise men, the stars, the universe, you, and me.

He is the beginning of all things. He is the definition of all things. He is the purpose of all things. He is the maker of all things. He is the substance of all things. Therefore, all things reflect him – especially us. He is THE uncreated image of God from which we, the created image bearers have been molded. He is our Alpha.

Will Jesus be your Alpha this Christmas? Or will he be just another add-on to the day? Will he be your beginning this new year, or will you continue to just squeeze him in when it’s convenient or necessary to do so?

This upcoming new year, will he be your vision of what life is meant to be? Will he be your best thought by day and by night? Will all your plans for a meaningful new year begin with him? Will you try to see everything good as a gift that originated from him and through him? And everything difficult as an opportunity to run back to him as your source of strength?

Our Omega

And all things are FOR Jesus and UNTO Jesus. Everything is destined to be his. His is the heir of all things, the universe. God’s redemptive plan is to bring all of creation back to where it came from – Jesus. Back under his authority, his dominion, his rule. He is our destiny and our destination. He is the point. He is the goal. He is our Omega.

Will Jesus be your Omega this Christmas? Or will he be just a means to an end? A reason to enjoy everything else but him for himself?

Will you resolve to study your Bible this new year just to know information or to learn moral lessons, or to strengthen your commitments, or build your character? Or will you desire to know Christ himself more and more. Will Jesus be your bridge to a good life? Or will HE be the good life? Will you use his gifts for your own selfish ends, your own happiness or fulfillment, or will you use them for the declaration of his mercy and his grace (which will actually produce true happiness and fulfillment)?

“To live is Christ” is to be found in this cosmic Christ. The one who is the beginning and end of all things. Anything less is too small a view of Christ. Anything less than an Alpha and Omega will never sustain us. It might give us a nice holiday, but not a lifetime of living water. In the suffering of life, we must begin and end with Jesus, for all things begin and end with him.

You

Where has Jesus just been an add-on for you? Or just a means to an end?

You in Christ

In Christ your life begins and ends with him. How might this change your perspective on the new year?

Christ in you

How can you start and end your Christmas with Christ?

Playlist: Alpha and Omega

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