Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega

A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about the impact of Tim Keller and his sermons. I wanted to highlight one sermon that I listened to recently that is particularly good. It's called The Cosmic King.

In the sermon, Keller is unpacking what the term "I am the Alpha and the Omega" really means. He says that John (writer of the book of Revelation) gave the first century Christians a view of Jesus that enabled them to endure the horrific persecutions they were facing. He continues:
"The early Christians show Jesus as the Alpha, the beginning, the first. This is one of the most comprehensive statements that Jesus is God anywhere in the Scriptures. To say I am the beginning means I was not created, no one before me, nothing precedes me. He’s not the Beta and Omega. He is our origin. What difference does that make? How does that apply to me?

You must start with him. All of your thinking must start with him. It’s natural to start with ourselves but we must not. Someone might be saying I didn’t come here for doctrine and dogma, but just for some practical advice. But you’ve got to start with doctrine and dogma, because unless you start with something outside of you you’ll never find you. You are not the Alpha. You’ve got to get out of you to find you. That’s the message of the Scripture: unless you start with Him, unless you know Him you can’t know yourself."
Keller goes on to say that we must ask ourselves, "What is my Alpha point?" He says that everything outside of Christianity is escapism. We must start with Him to find ourselves and for life to make sense.

He also says that we must look to Jesus as our Omega point:
"There’s only two ways to approach God. You can either make Him the means and something else the end, or you can make Him the end and everything else the means. Each of those ways produces a completely different religion, a completely different religious experience.

The Omega points in your life are the non-negotiables. They are the things that you say I’ve got to have that or my life has no point. Most of us, seekers and Christians, start by approaching Christ not to make Him our Omega point, but to use Him as a means to reach the Omega points we’re not getting to. Our life is falling apart because we’re not getting some of these things that are our points. So we say maybe Christianity will help. So we go towards Him to make use of Him as a means. You can’t do that because He is the Omega point."
Basically, don't come to Jesus as a way to get something else. Rather seek Him as your end and appreciate Him as He really is, the Lord of glory:
"When you see this picture of Jesus, His hair is white to show that He is wiser than the wise. His eyes are fire to show He’s more penetrating than the deepest fire. His face is brighter than the brightest sun. His voice is louder than the loudest ocean. He’s trying to show you His glory. That’s what struck John and made him fall down. The word glory in the Bible means weight. If you put a stone in the middle of the creek, the water will go around the stone. It will change the waters path. Why? Because the stone has more glory than the water. The stone matter more than the water. What Jesus Christ is saying is I am the Lord of glory, everything else swirls around me. Only things that are done for me will really last. Only things that are done through me will really last. Only things that are done with me will really last."

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