Author: Ron Graham
Alpha and Omega - Jesus is God
The Revelation of Christ (Revelation 1-5) >The Prologue >The Introduction >The marks of divinity
In the book of Revelation, Jesus shows himself to be God just like his Father. In particular, two truths concerning the divine nature of Jesus are presented in Revelation chapter one.
1 Divine Nature of Christ
- Firstly, the relationship between Jesus Christ and the heavenly Father is stated in verse six. Jesus has made us kings and priests to "His God and Father". This clearly shows that Christ regards his Father not only as his Father but also as his God.
- Secondly, as we shall see in a moment, Jesus attributes to himself the titles and glory of the Lord God Almighty. This is not to say that he claims to be the Father. Rather, he claims to be God like his Father.
We thus have two truths which we must hold together. First Jesus acknowledges that his Father is his God. Secondly he claims that he is God like his Father.
Some people see a contradiction in these two truths, and thus deny one or other of them. Usually it is the second that is denied. So let us now note three points in favour of the doctrine that Jesus is God.
1. The First and the Last
When Jesus says that he is "the first and the last", (Revelation 1:11) he is applying to himself a title of the Almighty God. "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and Israel's Redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6).
2. The Appearance of the Son of Man
Compare the appearance of Jesus Christ in John’s vision (Revelation 1:12-18), with Daniel's visions of the Ancient of Days and One like the Son of Man (Daniel 7:9-10,13-14). In both John and Daniel’s visions, there is "One like a Son of Man". Yet when he appeared to John, he looked like the Ancient of Days who appeared to Daniel. This signifies that this Son of Man has the glory of the Ancient of Days.
3. The Lamb's Glory
Later when we come to the visions of Heaven (Revelation 4:1 to 5:14) we will see again that Jesus has equal glory to God. Jesus appears as the Lamb, nevertheless in the songs John heard and the acts that he saw, the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ, is accorded the same glory and worship as the One who sits on the throne (Revelation 5:11-14).
2 Alpha and Omega
We now concentrate on the implications of Jesus describing himself as "The Alpha and the Omega" (Revelation 1:8, 11). Alpha and Omega are simply the first and last letters of the Greek Alphabet. The full declaration is, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last" (Revelation 22:13).
1. Jesus has the fullness of the Deity
If we take "the Alpha and the Omega" to mean not only the first and last but including the full span of the alphabet, we can understand that Jesus is saying that he is everything, all in all. He is expressing his fullness, which Paul defined clearly when he wrote of Jesus, "In him dwells all the fulness of the deity bodily" (Colossians 2:9).
2. Jesus has preeminence in the churches
Jesus "is before all things and in him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things he may have the preeminence" (Colossians 1:17). Preeminence means first place, which needless to say is God’s place, to which his Father exalted him (Philippians 2:8-11).
3. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith
All things came into being through God, through his Son Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3), and only through him shall they cease to be. The beginning and the end of the whole universe, physical and spiritual, is in his hands. He is the Author and Finisher of all things. There is also a special sense in which Jesus is the beginning and the end for us: He is "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2).