“And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.”
Revelation 21:6-7 NLT
These two verses encompass several encouraging messages from God Himself.
First of all, God said, “It is finished!”, but what was He referring to? We will remember the final words of Jesus from the Cross, as recorded in John 19:30, “When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” At that time, Jesus was declaring that His redemptive work on the Cross had been completed. Through His sacrificial death at Calvary, we can now bring our sins to the foot of the cross, leaving them there in repentance, with the assurance that we are cleansed from our sins and can adopt His righteousness. The divine exchange. But this time, in our Revelation verse, it is God Himself who said “It is finished!”. Perhaps we can refer back to Ephesians 1:9-10, “God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfil his own good plan. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.” In Revelation 21:6, God was declaring that His plan to establish His Kingdom, under the rule of Christ, was complete. The “right time” had finally arrived. All the prerequisites complete. All the divine boxes ticked. The “plan”, the “it”, is finished.
Secondly, God reminded John that He was “the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End”. He was saying that He was eternal. He was there at the beginning and will still be there at the end. But because He is the eternal God, He has no beginning and end. This is a difficult concept for us to get our time-bound minds around. God has always been with us, and always will be. We enter the realms of eternity and infinity when we try and think through the implications of the One who is “the Beginning and the End”.
We pilgrims have much to look forward to. Not only will we join God in Heaven, we will find ourselves also becoming a part of God’s eternal plan. John in his vision was shown a glimpse of these far-in-the-future events, and doubtless he struggled to articulate what was happening. But with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and the occasional angel who popped into his vision, he was able to say all that God wanted him to say.
Of course, we as pilgrims mustn’t focus too deeply about what is going to happen, to the exclusion of all else, because we need to be concerned about what is happening in the here and now. Our faith must take us to people and situations where the love and grace of God can make a difference. Situations where the Gospel can be shared, and our family, friends and neighbours shown the way to eternal life. But we must also occasionally glance upwards to check in with our future Heavenly home and our Heavenly Dad. It is there we will find the Source of our faith. The eternal God, the Beginning and the End.
Dear Father God. There are no words available to totally describe who You are. But in our limited humanity, we worship You today, our Eternal God and Father. Amen.