I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
So is Christ. The text is one of those clear, strong statements which compel the mind of him who accepts the authority of Scripture to assign to the Lord Jesus Christ that position of Divine dignity and rank which the Church has ever ascribed to him. He is the First and the Last. Like as some vast mountain, towering aloft into the clouds, is the first object that catches the eye of the voyager on board a ship approaching the land, and, when again she sails, is the last that lingers in his view; so the Lord Jesus Christ, when we approach the study of God's revelations of himself, is the first Object that arrests our view, as he will be the last when we look back from the ocean of eternity. And as in our illustration, so in him to whom we have ventured to apply the illustration. Not only first and last, but in all the interval between. As the mountain dominates the whole landscape, and is seen from all points, go where we will, so the Lord Jesus Christ occupies and fills up the chief place in our study, no matter from what side we contemplate the ways and works of God. We behold "him first, him midst, him last, him without end." So is it -
I. IN THE UNIVERSE OF GOD. For:
1. He is first in time. "In the beginning was the Word." Ere ever aught was he was.
2. In position and rank. None so great as he. Let all the angels of God worship him."
3. As being the Object of all. Creation is to show forth his glory. Man, to subserve his will. Events, to further his purpose.
4. And he is the Last also. Omega as well as Alpha. When man and the universe, as we now know them, shall have passed away, "his years shall have no end." "They shall perish, but thou remainest."
II. IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. In their opening statement we read, "In the beginning Elohim created," etc. - the plural form suggesting; if it does not declare, the then existence of the Son of God. He is "the Seed of the woman," the promise of whom lights up the first prophecy. The first sacrifice, the first death, speak of him. And from these earliest teachings concerning him right down to the last utterance of the Word of God, in what book, chapter, or page is he absent? Patriarchs saw his day; types told of him; laws led to him; psalmists sung of him; prophets prophesied of him; princes and rulers, and the events which the sacred history records, prepared the way for him; and the New Testament is all of him. He it is who gives unity to the Scriptures, which otherwise would be a mere collection of ancient writings, having no point, or aim, or plan. He is the Keystone of the arch, without which it would have neither symmetry nor strength.
III. IN THE LIFE OF THE BELIEVER. He is "the Author and Perfecter of our faith." He begins the work, having made it possible by his death, his resurrection, and the gift of his Spirit. "All things" thus being "ready," he gives regenerating grace, whereby we are grafted into him as our second Adam; then converting grace, leading us to believe; then sanctifying grace; and, finally, grace for the hour of death, grace to meeten us for the Divine presence; and at last glorifying grace. Think, then, all these things being so, what:
1. Must he not be in himself?
2. Ought he not to be to us?
3. Will he be to us if "we will not have him to reign over us"? - S.C.
Parallel VersesKJV: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.