Christ: First and Last in Redemption
All this is by way of setting the Lord Jesus in His rightful place in God's universe. But we may feel that it is not very helpful to us. What comes nearer to us is this: that He is the Alpha and the Omega in redemption. He is the First and the Last in redemption. In that letter to the Hebrews again, we have this familiar word: "Looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith" (12:2). He is, then, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, of redemption.
Christ is, of course, the beginning of redemption in this simple sense, that there is no redemption until we come to Him. Just as there is no speech, no communication, no knowledge until we come to the alphabet, so there is no redemption until we come to the Lord Jesus. There is just nothing before "A"; there is nothing before Alpha: that is just where everything begins. And what is true in language is true in redemption: there just is no redemption, there is no salvation, until we come to the Lord Jesus. But when we come to Him, there is a new beginning. It is the beginning of everything - a whole new compass and range of possibilities, whether of communication, of knowledge and understanding, of wisdom or of pleasure.
What a wealth there is in Christ! What a wealth there is in Him as the Redeemer! When you take Him as the beginning, the Alpha, of salvation, what a marvelous world opens up! When you pick up a dictionary, and begin to turn the pages, what a world opens up! As you go on and on, through the many thousands of words, in all their different shapes and forms, what a world is there! I cannot understand any person who cannot revel in a dictionary! But you see what I am getting at. When you come to Jesus as the Alpha, a new and vast and wonderful world begins to open up, a world that you never thought of. It is like coming upon new words in the dictionary - words that you never knew were there, and that opens up to you altogether new vistas. It is like that with the Lord Jesus: when He becomes your Beginning, an inexhaustible world opens up. Wealth, fullness, riches of knowledge - there are limitless possibilities when you begin with "A".
(continued with # 5)