Jesus First and Last

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alpha-omega-294x300In Revelation, Jesus appears to John calling himself “the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last”, Rev 22:13 (see also 1:8, 2:8b and 21:6). John is reporting in Greek to Greek churches, but Jesus was John’s cousin, his mother Salome was Mary’s sister, he grew up with Jesus speaking Aramaic, so as with Paul it is likely he was reporting in Greek what Jesus spoke in the vision in Aramaic, Act 26:14. In which case Jesus would have said “I am the Aleph and the Tav, the first and last”, Aleph and Tav being the first and last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.

alephtav-1They also make up the most common Hebrew word in the Old Testament, the word is “AT” but it is almost never translated into any modern language as its role is grammatical rather than descriptive. But the Old Testament already acknowledged it’s divine connection with God due to it implicit first and last nature, for instance in Isaiah 41:4 when YHWH says “I am the first and the last” the little word “AT” appears between the words “first” and “last”… (there is more of Jesus hidden in this verse but this post is not the time or place).

Another place it appears is in Zechariah 12:10 where it appears in the phrase… “they will look upon me ‘AT’ whom they have pierced” giving the word a clearl crucified messiah connection.

The word was clearly in view when John wrote his Gospel years before he had the visions of Revelation, so he starts his Gospel with the opening phrase of the whole Bible… “in the beginning…” but then instead of saying “God” he says “was the Word”… because in Hebrew the little word “AT” is the next and middle word of Genesis’ opening statement.

Genesis starts with “Aleph-Tav the first and last” and Revelations concludes with Alpha-Omega the first and last”…Which as we shall explore elsewhere has always been about the crucified Messiah.

But there are far more connections between the first part of Genesis and the book of Revelations than just the “AT”. Chapter 3 of Genesis contains what theologians call the “Proto-Evangelium”, the promise of a Woman’s Seed (and remember women don’t have seed… this is a reference to virgin birth) who will crush the Serpents head while being mortally wounded Himself. This happens primarily on the Cross, but Revelations shows us the unravelling of the Serpent of old’s power base and his final defeat.

So I thought it would be good to flag a number of ways we see things start in Genesis that are matched or concluded in Revelation…. Because Christ is the beginning and the end of our history..

GenesisRevelation
Gen 1:1In the first sentence of the Bible the word God is marked with an untranslated word, "AT" made up of the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabetJesus and God the Father describe themselves as "Alpha Omega", the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet Rev 1:8, 21:6, 22:13
Gen 1Heaven and Earth created and shaped
There is a New Heaven and New Earth
Rev 21
Gen 1:2All creation starts as sea, the Spirit hovers over the sea to start forming it .There is finally no sea left in the New Earth
Rev 21:1
Gen 3:1There is a snake in the GardenThere is a dragon, the serpent of old, who is thrown down onto earthRev 12:3+9, 20:2
Gen 2:18-25
Adam receives a bride made from his own body after falling asleep
Jesus receives a bride made of his own body after death and resurrection
Rev 19:7
Gen 2:11-12The Garden has, hidden in the rivers, gold, precious stones and bdellium, translated (correctly in my view) as "pearls" by the Moffatt Bible.
The Garden City is made of gold, precious stones and pearls.Rev 21:18-21
Gen 1:21There are great creatures in the SeaA beast comes up out of the sea.Rev 13:2
Gen 2:10A River flowed out of Eden
A river flows from the throne of God and the Lamb
Rev 22:21
Gen 3:22-24Access to the tree of Life is restricted
The tree of life is multiplied
Rev 22:22
Gen 3:14-19A curse is released
The curse is gone
Rev 22:2
Gen 3:8Man hides from the face of God
Man has permanent access to the face of God
Rev 22:3
Gen 3:22Death spreads to all
Death is destroyed in the lake of fire
Rev 22:4
Gen 11:1-4Men build cities and a pyramid to reach heaven
God’s city shaped like a pyramid come to the Earth
Rev 20:14
Gen 1:14Sun and moon are appointed for signs and seasons
Sun and moon are no longer needed
Rev 22:2, 16
Christen Forster

Christen Forster

Christen Forster is widely recognised as an original Bible teacher who brings people into a love of and confidence in scripture.

Christen has planted churches, been a youth worker, mission administrator and church leaders. The author of several books, Christen is now an itinerant minister, helping churches to step into a more deliberately spiritual experience of the Christian life while at the same time firmly rooting their practice in scripture.

© 2000 - 2017 Christen Forster
Christen Forster
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One Reply to “Jesus First and Last”

  1. Excellent Christen!
    There is so much depth in Jesus’ simple statement that he is the “beginning and end” and you have helped expose another rich vein of meaning bedded in The Word.

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