“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,
who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
The book of Revelation has it all. Calamity and Chaos. Hope and Healing. It was written to encourage followers of Jesus suffering under the heavy hand of the Roman emperor Domitian’s religious policies. These were aimed at restoring traditional Roman values. Revelation uses strong visionary language to describe the conflict between those who claim that “Jesus is Lord” and the Roman claim that the emperor was God.
“I am the Alpha and Omega” says that God in Christ holds all of history and human experience from beginning to end and that all other claims will falter and fail. This is a huge claim. Especially in the light of the might and popularity of the emperor at that time. But these believers held on in hope through that turmoil. Within a few hundred years the tables turned and Christianity was made one of the “official” state religions. This, of course, brought new challenges.