I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty....I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last...Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Rev. 1:8,11,17-18)
This is what Easter is all about. Jesus is alive forevermore. He was dead but He now lives and He has the keys of hell and death. The essence of this wonderful truth is that Jesus has broken the power of death over human life for all who will come to a place of understanding and faith.

This is what Easter is all about. Jesus is alive forevermore. He was dead but He now lives and He has the keys of hell and death. The essence of this wonderful truth is that Jesus has broken the power of death over human life for all who will come to a place of understanding and faith.

Jesus says I'm Alpha and Omega. Of course, that means the beginning and the ending. We know He is the beginning. He's the Creator, Almighty God. Everything springs and emanates from Him. Obviously he's the beginning.

But I want to focus on the Omega part, the ending part. Because that means He is the end of something. He is the beginning of life and the end of death. And that's what we're celebrating today—the fact that He is the "end of death."

He broke the power of death over you and me and we need to appropriate that truth in our life. Exchange the touch of death for resurrection life.

When I talk about breaking the power of death over humanity, I'm talking about death in any of its multiplied forms, not just biological death. We think about the cessation of human life, but death in the Bible is used to refer to a variety of experiences that subtract life from an individual.

Death takes many different facets and forms, and we deal with them daily. The kind of death that kills a person's hopes and dreams and begins to rob them of their good health and begins to interfere or corrupt their relationships. This is the kind of death that we have to deal with daily, and it's just as much a truth that Jesus died to overcome the power of that touch of death as He did biological death.

We're too narrow in our perception of terms on occasion. Death not only is a natural phenomenon. It's something that occurs spiritually as well. The Bible defines spiritual death as separation from God. Or an eternal assignment to hell. But Jesus is the Omega Man, come to redeem us from the power of death—if we learn how to appropriate this truth.

Stopping the Progression of Death
Death is a progressive event. It doesn't usually just come in one fell swoop. In a biological sense, the aging process is the progression of death, the experience of death in our flesh. Sickness and disease speeds that process up. And if sickness and disease isn't remedied, it will eventually cause premature death.

Financial need, lack, famine, and want are forms of death that, if allowed to worsen, will rob the person of the very sustenance they need to sustain life.

So we can see that these things are progressive events—the kinds of death that we have to deal with on a daily basis. When you come to recognize that the resurrection life in Jesus Christ gives you power over death, you can stop that progression of death.

Now I'm not going to apply that literally to the aging process, so be mindful of the fact that it is appointed unto every man once to die in this dispensation until the Lord returns. But anything that would promote premature death—premature being earlier than the Word of God promises. God says we can have three score and 10 as a minimum. That's 70 years. Or He says life until we're satisfied. Read Psalms 90 and 91.

So anything that produces premature death, the Author of Life can intervene and give you the power over that touch of death. Whether it's biological, financial, psychological, and relational... doesn't matter what it is, Jesus is the Omega Man.

Jesus isn't only called the Omega man. He's called the Living Word. The Bible says God and His Word are one. So the Bible is how we learn the will and purpose of God, how we learn to tap into resurrection life.

So how do we appropriate the power over death? Whatever face it may wear, however it may touch your life, Jesus has given you power over death. You just need to learn how to tap into it.

As we discuss how do we prepare spiritually for the touch of death, let me remind you that the single most important event in human history, the resurrection of Jesus, is what opens us to the experience of life, the deliverance from death.

So I'll say this, the most usual reason people fail to lay hold on the power of life over death, the reason people don't seem to be able to avoid the touch of death, is because they don't rightly understand and relate to the resurrection of Jesus. That's really where most of the problem is wrapped up.

Most Christians limit the benefit of the resurrection to eternity in heaven with the Lord. "I'm a Christian. I believe that Jesus was crucified and was raised from the dead so I can spend an eternity in heaven with the Lord." And for most Christians, that's really where it stops. But I want you to see that it's the touch of death in any form that He's interested in dealing with.

You don't have to get so sick you die before you can get the problem rectified. You can get it cleared up right on the front end. You don't have to declare bankruptcy and start over. God can fix the problem for you if you learn the principles of laying hold on the power over death that the Omega man has opened to you.

Examples of Resurrection
There are three examples of men being raised from the dead in the Old Testament and three in the new, not including Jesus. He rose from the dead and lives forevermore. All of the others that have been raised from the dead subsequently died.

He's given us these scriptural examples of death being overcome by life, to give us a clearer understanding of what the resurrection of Jesus is intended to do on an eternal scale, and so that we might tap more fully into it.

In 1 Kings 17 and 2 Kings 4, we see examples of prophets, Elijah in one case, Elisha in another, raising the children of two particularly important women in their lives, to life.

In the example of Elijah, the woman who had sustained him during a time of famine, at risk to her own life and her son's life, experienced a tragedy shortly after that—her son died. And Elijah subsequently raised him to life. But before he did, the woman came to the man of God, the only contact she had with God, and she said to him, "What have I to do with thee O thou man of God? Are thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance and to slay my son?"

Then in the next example, the blessing of the Lord came through Elisha on a barren woman who was married to an older guy. She had a child—the blessing of God. When he was a young boy working in the fields with his father, he had sunstroke or something, and he grabbed his head and died. The mother goes to her contact with God, Elisha, and says something similar, only it's more along the lines of, "What is this? Some kind of God that gives and then takes away? He blesses one moment and curses another?"

In both of these instances, we see illuminated the popular perception of God, that He deals in death. First of all, that he'll punish you for your disobedience with the touch of death. If it's not complete literal biological death, then maybe a little sickness or maybe a financial problem, but He's going to get you because you have not been as obedient as you should be. And God answers that perception. He lays that notion to rest by raising her son from the dead. And in so doing He said, "I am not the one that deals in death. I'm the one that deals in life."

Before you can experience resurrection life, you're going to have to deal with any notion that God deals in death. He doesn't. He doesn't punish with death, and he's not the kind of fickle unpredictable God that blesses one minute and then curses the next.

This was the problem Job had. Do you remember Job's famous statement of abject ignorance? "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." How many times is that been quoted in religious institutions? The idea is, que sera sera, whatever will be, will be. The Lord might bless me one day, the next day He might zap me real good.

God lays both of these notions to rest in the two Old Testament examples I gave you by raising these women's children from the dead. He raises them from the dead, ending the notion that God deals in death, that He's unpredictable, that He's fickle, that who knows what He's going to do.

He makes a clear case that he's the Author of Life and that's it's another who comes to kill, steal and destroy. But let me tell you this, you will never lay your hand on resurrection life, you will never have any power over death, until you put those notions out of your mind.

Let's take a look at a New Testament example, in Mark 5. Here we have the account of Jairus. It says, "Behold there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet (talking about Jesus), and besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him." (vv. 22-24)

Then we have an intervening incident where he healed the woman with the issue of blood. When it returns to the matter of Jairus' daughter, it says, "while he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: Why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe" (Mark 5:35-36).

So we see the truth that is essential you embrace, that before you experience resurrection life, you have to deal with the fear factor. When the doctor's report comes about a terminal illness or sickness of some sort, when the report comes that something is happening down at the work place and you may lose your job, when the report comes that one of your children has gotten in trouble...instead of fear controlling your response, you're going to have to learn what the Bible says about dealing with fear. You cannot allow fear to be a factor. If it is, you will never lay hold of the power over death. And the touch of death will indeed come.

And then the next thing we see, "he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly..." (vv. 38). They used to hire mourners in this day when somebody died, to wail and weep. It was just part of the culture of the day, part of their practice. Jesus dealt with them rather severely, don't you think? He booted them.

Again the lesson to us very clearly is, fear has to be eliminated, but so does grief and sorrow over your dead circumstance. I don't care how dead your circumstance is. I don't care if that business looks like it could never be resurrected. You're going to have to quit grieving over it and feeling sorry for yourself. You're going to have to get out of fear about how you're going to support your family, and then God can raise that thing from the dead. He can give you power over that touch of death. Because He is the Omega Man.

So we see from earlier examples of resurrection, some important things. You've got to put an end to the notion that God deals in death, or that you never know what He's going to do. He is the Author of Life. There is another that deals in death.

You've got to eliminate the notion—as long as you think the touch of death in your body, that little sickness that you can't seem to get a victory over, or the financial problems you're having, or whatever the challenge may be—you've got to get over the notion that God has anything to do with it, because He does not.

Religion teaches this junk today, that this is the way God deals with His people. He does not. And for you to lay hold of resurrection life, you're going to have to get over that notion. And then if you are touched by a dead circumstance, you've got to eliminate the fear, the grief and the sorrow before resurrection life can come.

But the most significant New Testament example we have is in John 11. It deals with the resurrection of Lazarus, a good friend of Jesus, and the brother to Martha and Mary. It was a real shock to Lazarus' family when he died. As a matter of fact, Martha was uptight with Jesus about it. In verse 21, "Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."

She was a little mad at Him because He hadn't gotten there quickly enough, but then Jesus said this in verse 25, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:25,26)

Mind blowing to Martha, and for our society today, again, it's pretty mind blowing.

"What are you talking about? Let's not get too radical with this stuff. I'm a Christian. I believe Jesus was the Son of God. He got raised from the dead. And I'm going to heaven. But let's not get too radical about this. You mean that if I believe in Him, that if I believe He is the resurrection and the life, and I believe in the power of life through Him over my dead circumstances, whatever dead circumstance I'm in, can be raised, you mean if I believe that I don't even have to experience the touch of death?"

That's what it says.

And Jesus asks a real pointed question, "Believest thou this?" He made this statement to Martha and then He said, believest thou this?" That is the question for you today. That's the question for all of us today. Do we believe this? Or have we been so brainwashed by the secular system that we've grown up in, we can't get away from the notion that there's really not any solution to sickness other than what medicine can provide?

Is our primary thought of what we're likely to experience based on the popular secular views and notions, or is it based on this? I ask you, believest thou this? Because your experience of resurrection life, your experience of power over death depends on believing thou this.

You've got a choice to make. You're going to hear a lot of things about what you should do if you get a terminal illness. You'll hear a lot of things about how to manage your money in order to succeed or do what you want to do.

You're going to have to choose what you're going to believe. Are you going to believe the Living Word? Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life, believeth thou me? The Living Word.

Do you believe He can bring power over death to bear in your life? Your experience of life is dependent upon it. And if when you get right down to it, your belief system is rooted in the natural temporal realm in which we live, that will dictate your experience of life.

People say, "How do you know you can believe the Bible? Didn't a bunch of men write this thing? You talk about the opinion of man, isn't that what the Bible is?"

No. If it's not in the Bible, it is the opinion of man. That's the only source of any idea or precept that you don't find in the Bible. The only possible source is the mind of man.

You've got a choice, am I going to believe popular, secular thought based on human opinion, or am I going to believe something that says it's the divinely inspired, God-breathed Word of God? What am I going to believe when the two are in conflict?

Well it only makes sense to invest your belief system in the Bible. The mind of man—I don't care whose mind it is—it's just as subjective and flawed as your own is. Just as prone to mistakes as you know yourself to be.

Do you want to hang your eternal destiny on your intellect? That's a scary thought. Wouldn't be anybody in heaven. Well, that's what you're doing when you choose to believe something other than the Bible. You're hanging your eternal destiny on your intellect.

Now if God is as small as your intellect, he's no god. So the Bible gives us a representation of who He is and what He wants for us in this life. You have to choose—am I going to believe this? Or am I going to believe the opinion of man?

The last thing we see in this account is in verse 43, "And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth."

Just as we are the body of Christ in the earth today, He's not literally physically here. His vocal chords aren't here, but you are, and you're His body and His mouthpiece, and when you believe that He is the resurrection and the life, and then you put that into your mouth and speak to your dead circumstance, it'll rise from the dead just as surely as Lazarus did.

You've got to talk to it now. You've got to look at that thing, whatever it is. Speak to that sickness, speak to that pile of bills. You've got to talk to it. You've got to speak life to it. Speak from your heart of belief that Jesus can give you power over that death. Talk to it. Tell those bills they're paid according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Talk to those things that seem to be the touch of death, and God can raise them to life once again.

This is Easter. This is what resurrection is all about. I exhort you to lay hold of resurrection life by laying aside the notion that God deals in death—He does not. By dealing with fear, grief and sorrow when a dead circumstance touches your life; and then by believing that He's the resurrection and the life; and then putting that belief in your mouth and speaking to your dead circumstance. You'll see resurrection occur in your own life's experience!

Mac Hammond Ministries
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