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“Alpha and Omega”
The word “Alpha” suggests that Christ is the best. He is better than all who come before him. And if you put them all together, Christ stands head and shoulders above them all as the best.
“Alpha” refers to the one who is at the head, the leader, the best. And our Lord Jesus Christ says of himself, “I am Alpha.” Is he a Son? He is the firstborn Son, the only begotten Son, the only eternal Son, the only perfectly obedient Son. All other sons are made sons by this Son. — Is he a Prophet? All the other prophets stand behind him, by a great, infinite distance, and point to him, bearing witness of him. — Is he a Priest? All the other priests of the Aaronic and Levitical orders were only types of him. Their only purpose was to represent him until he came. He is the fulfillment of them all. He is the great High Priest of our profession. Christ is our Melchizedek! — Is he a King? Yes, he is King like no other. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. —Is he a Shepherd? Then he is the good Shepherd, the chief Shepherd, the great Shepherd. — Is he an Angel? Then he is Michael the Archangel, the Angel of the Covenant, the Angel of God who is God.
It matters not what title our Lord takes to himself, or what character he assumes, he is in all respects Alpha, A-1. He infinitely surpasses all that may be compared to him, as the sun excels the stars. When the sun rises, all stars fade in its light. And when Christ appears, all others fade away into insignificance. He who is best is preeminent, and well deserves the praise and glory of all. Christ is Alpha. Let no flesh glory in his presence. All who know him glory only in him and give glory only to him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
We rejoice to declare that Christ is “Alpha,” the first and the best. But he is also “Omega,” the lowest and the last in his voluntary condescension and humiliation. He made himself “he that is least in the kingdom of heaven!”
How shall I describe the depths of our Lord’s humiliation. He who is God stooped to become a man! He “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). In order to save us, Christ became one of us! He became what we are that he might make us what he is. He stooped to become a man. He stooped again to become the lowest of men. He stooped again to become the servant of men. He stooped again to be made sin for men! He stooped again to die as a man for men!
Behold the depths of his humiliation! When he was made sin for us, he who is God was forsaken by God, as the just object of God’s furious, infinite wrath! He cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?” Then he answered his own cry. — “Thou art holy!” And a holy God cannot look upon sin. “But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, (if) he delighted in him” (Psalm 22:1-8).
Our Lord Jesus, the Christ, is the Omega, the Last, the least in the kingdom of heaven! He stooped to death, death under the infinite wrath and inflexible justice of God, for us! Remember, the Son of God did all of this to satisfy the justice of God for us, and to put away our sins, that we might live by him. Because he is God, Christ is Alpha. Because he is our Substitute, Christ became Omega!