“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8 ESV)
As we ponder the opening words the Book of Revelation the first thing we must note is that it is a revelation of Jesus, a document that attests to His glory and love. As such, it reveals Him: Jesus is the subject and focus of the book. This is why we see Him here as the Alpha and the Omega. He is the totality of all existence, the creator of all that is. Because He is we would be wise to heed all He has to say because it will encourage and help us as we live out our lives for Him.
What Jesus says is in the form of a letter written by the Apostle John around 90 AD, and addressed specifically to 7 churches in eastern Asia Minor, but in reality to the whole Church. The message conveyed by the images and figurative language was of particular and primary relevance to believers in those early churches and so it is presented in terms that they could understand easily. The message reveals what God is about to do in their situation and time. Yet, as with Scripture, this message is also meant to edify and encourage all Christians down through the centuries including the present day. Those first century Christians lived in the Roman Empire. They were undergoing severe persecution, yet despite what they were experiencing, the Lord God was with them. Jesus was in control of all that was going on then and what has taken place throughout all history and even in our present day. The end of all things is not in doubt. He has already won the final victory. This message would comfort them as they endured suffering, pain and even martyrdom for the Lord revealed that their reward is in heaven not on his earth. It should comfort us as well.