If Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, does that mean he is God?
Revelation 1:17-18 (ESV) - 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
In the Bible, Jesus is called "the First and the Last" or "the Alpha and the Omega" or "the beginning and the end". Does that mean that he is God?
When we study the scriptures, we see that it does indeed mean that he is God.
The title is directly indicative of deity.
Isaiah 44:6 (ESV) - 6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel
and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
"I am the first and I am the last;
besides me there is no god.
When God says this in Isaiah 44:6, this title of "the first and the last" is directly tied to his diety. He is the "first and the last" - there is no other god. In other words, the phrase "first and that last" refer to him being God. He is God - there is no other God.
If we were to say that this title is used of Jesus in a different way, we change the meaning of the title in a way that is not permitted. For example, can anyone other than God be the Almighty? Can anyone other than God be the great I Am? If we say that these titles refer to deity and cannot be applied to those who are not God, then we must agree that this title, which refers to deity, cannot be applied to those who are not God.
No one else may have a similar title.
As we continue reading the next verse, we see more about how God applies this title. Not only does it refer to deity, but he also says it is a unique title.
Isaiah 44:7 (ESV) - 7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it.
Let him declare and set it before me,
since I appointed an ancient people.
Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
He is the first and the last and there is no one like him. If we say that Jesus is the first and the last, even in a different way, it would still be a similar or analogous way to how God is the first and the last. If there is no one like God, and Jesus shares this special title, he must be God.
The title signifies God as the creator.
Isaiah 48:12-13 (ESV) - 12 "Listen to me, O Jacob,
and Israel, whom I called!
I am he; I am the first,
and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.
When God calls himself the first and that last, he points to his work in creation. He is the first in that he exists before all things. He is the last in that all things that end, end before he does. As the first, he has originated the universe. He spread the heavens and the earth.
If this refers to God as creator then Jesus, who is the first and the last, must be the creator.
The title signifies God as the Almighty and the eternal.
We also see that this title is used to speak of God as the eternal one who is the Almighty.
Revelation 1:8 (ESV) - 8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
When God calls himself the Alpha and the Omega (meaning the first and the last), he is referring to the fact that he is eternal. Naturally, since only God is eternal, he is also the Almighty.
Jesus is called "Alpha and Omega" throughout the book of Revelation without any indication that we should take this phrase to mean something different. Clearly, it must mean that Jesus is the eternal one, the Almighty.
Jesus is the Alpha and Omega that gives from the spring of eternal life.
Revelation 21:6 (ESV) - 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. 7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Here we see that "Alpha and the Omega" speaks of God, who gives water from the spring of eternal life. Who is it that gives water from the spring of eternal life? It is Jesus!
John 4:14 (ESV) - 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
One could say that both the Father and the Son give water to drink from the spring of eternal life, but if we say that Jesus is not God, then such a statement would then deny the uniqueness of God. Clearly, this is an attibute that is unique to the Alpha and Omega. Clearly, Jesus is God.
He is the one that gives the waters of life. Let us not look to ministers or an organization for salvation, but look to him.
If Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, he must be God. The phrase "Alpha and Omega" cannot refer to someone who is not God as it clearly is used to refer to the Eternal, the Creator, the Almighty. Additionally, in calling himself "the first and the last" and saying that no one is like him, he reserves this title for God alone. Lastly, the Alpha and Omega, who is God, gives from the waters of life - this is Christ's ministry; he is this God.
Revelation 22:12 (ESV) - "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
The Alpha and Omega, Jesus, is returning (Titus 2:13). Let us prepare ourselves by honoring him as we should, that we should not be ashamed at his arrival.