I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, and Omega is the last; so that Christ in this text represents Himself as the A and the Z. That is one reason why I like the Bible; its illustrations are so easy to understand. When it represents the gospel as a hammer, everybody knows it is to knock something to pieces; or as salt, everybody who has put down meat in barrels knows it is to keep things from spoiling; or as a salve, that is to cure the old sores of the heart. Anybody who knows the a b c understands that the text means that Christ is the Beginning and the End in everything good.
I. He is the A and the Z of THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE. By Him were all things made that are made. It is exciting to see a ship launched. The people gather in a temporary gallery erected for their accommodation. The spectators are breathless, waiting for the impediments to be removed, when down the ship rushes with terrific velocity, the planks smoking, the water tossing, the flags flying, the people huzzaing, bands of music playing. But my Lord Jesus saw this ship of a world launched with its furnaces of volcano, and flags of cloud, and masts of mountain, and beams of thunderbolt, while the morning stars shouted, and the orchestras of heaven played, "Great and marvellous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty!" The same hand that put up this universe will pull it down.
II. Christ is the A and the Z of THE BIBLE. Here is a long lane, overshadowed by fine trees, leading up to a mansion. What is the use of the lane if there were no mansion at the end? There is no use in the Old Testament, except as a grand avenue to lead us up to the Gospel Dispensation. You may go early to a concert. Before the curtain is hoisted, you hear the musicians tuning up the violins, and getting ready all the instruments. After a while the curtain is hoisted, and the concert begins. All the statements, parables, orations, and miracles of the Old Testament were merely preparatory, and when all was ready, in the time of Christ, the curtain hoists, and there pours forth the Oratorio of the Messiah — all nations joining in the Hallelujah Chorus.
III. Christ is the A and the Z of THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY. A sermon that has no Christ in it is a dead failure. The minister who devotes his pulpit to anything but Christ is an . impostor. What the world wants now is to be told in the most direct way of Jesus Christ, who comes to save men from eternal damnation. Christ the Light, Christ the Sacrifice, Christ the Rock, Christ the Star, Christ the Balm, Christ the Guide.
IV. Christ is the A and the Z in THE WORLD'S RESCUE. When the world broke loose, the only hand swung out to catch it was that of Jesus.
V. Christ is the A and the Z IN HEAVEN. He is the most honoured personage in all the land. He is known as a World-Liberator. The first one that a soul entering heaven looks for is Jesus. At His feet break the doxologies. Around His throne circle the chief glories. At heaven's beginning — Christ, the Alpha. Then travel far on down the years of eternity, and stop at the end of the remotest age, and see if the song has not taken up some other burthen, and some other throne has not become the centre of heaven's chief attractions. But no; you hear it thrummed on the harps and poured from the trumpets and shouted in universal acclaim, "Christ, the Omega!"
(T. De Witt Talmage.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.