“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13).
ALPHA IS THE FIRST LETTER IN THE GREEK ALPHABET, AND OMEGA IS THE LAST. From “alpha to omega” is, as we would say, everything “from a to z.” When Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” He was making a claim to be God Incarnate, nothing less than the Eternal God who came into the world in human form. But why should this be attractive to us? What is it about God’s eternity that should be of particular interest?
We yearn. The most obvious fact in the world is that human beings are deeply dissatisfied. We groan and aspire, yearning for things our hearts do not have. And what we do have, we have to say grievous goodbyes to. It doesn’t do any good to pretend. The only way not to weep is not to know what happens in the world.
But why do we yearn as we do? No other species yearns with the longings of the human heart. And no other species grieves the ravages of time. Could it be that we were meant for a stability no longer available in this world? Is the agony of imperfection and change a clue that this kind of world is not what we were created for?
In Jesus Christ, we can have what we yearn for. The truth is, we were created for a perfect, eternal joy with God, a joy not subject to change and decay. By our sin, the human race broke that perfection, but we still yearn for it. And in Christ, that is what is offered to us: a restoration of the eternal, unfading life we were designed for.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3). This “living hope” is the very heartbeat of the gospel. Ultimately, it is all the Christian has that is unique. Every other blessing from God may be — and often is — enjoyed in this world by people who are not in Christ. But think twice before you minimize the value of this hope. Would you not give everything in this world to have what you know your heart needs most deeply? And if you gained everything you want right now but were banished from God in eternity, what would you have profited?
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me!
(Henry F. Lyte)