Jesus called Alpha and Omega - 27 October 2021
By Carina Francke
- Revelation 22:13
I am the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
- Revelation 1:17-18
When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right-hand on me and said, “Don't be afraid! I am the first and the last. I am the living one! I was dead, but now I am alive for ever and ever. I have authority over death and the world of the dead.
The year 2021. Protesters burn, shoot and vandalise; police weapons fall into the hands of the wrong people; debt accumulates; and food parcels meant for the needy are stolen. People lose their jobs, businesses close doors, whilst others enrich themselves at the expense of the innocent. And then there is the “It” – that invisible virus that robs people of their breath, drains their energy, shackles people to a ventilator and causes the death of thousands of people. And sadly, also successfully unleashes insecurity and, especially, fear in people’s lives.
Fear is an emotion that is part of our human nature and expresses itself in a flight-or-fight response. Especially if the trigger is something unfamiliar, threatening or peculiar. Consider the apostle John on the island of Patmos who was addressed twice in a loud voice like a trumpet: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8) Write on a scroll what you see … (Revelation1:11). The indescribable glory and splendour of someone “like a Son of Man” who spoke to him, was so overwhelming, he fell at his feet as though dead. (Revelation 1:17)
Jesus’ reaction to this emotion was comforting. With his right hand on John, he reminded him of just who was standing in front of him at that moment:” Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One.” (Revelation 1:18) But because he knew man’s tendency to doubt, he said: “I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” And then He hammers the last nail into the coffin of doubt and fear: “And I hold the keys of death and Hades.”
Can you see what Jesus is communicating to you and me in these uncertain times? Firstly, we are never alone in times of testing. Jesus, our Victor over death, was present in our past, empowers us today with his supporting hand on our shoulders, and is ready for any contingency tomorrow. He really is who he says he is: “I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13) He exists from “indefinite time to indefinite time.” “I, the Lord – with the first of them and with the last – I am he.” (Isaiah 41:4)
And then the liberating news on his omnipotence: We need not fear death; Jesus overcame death and has the keys of death and Hades in his hand, Amen! We are alive! We will live for ever!
Prayer: Thank you, heavenly Father, that we need not live in fear any more! With my hands lifted high, my heart sings a song of jubilation for yesterday, today and tomorrow that binds our lives to your presence as well as that of Jesus. Amen