By Sally Lombardo
“But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up. Then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.” (Acts 9:40–43)
There are several stories of healing in the book of Acts, and the story of Tabitha is an amazing one. This faithful servant of the church died, and her brothers and sisters in the church mourned her death. When they called for Peter, he turned to the Lord in prayer. Kneeling beside her, he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she “opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up” (Acts 9:40). He held out his hand to her and raised her up, then, “calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive” (9:41). Tabitha is the first resurrection story in Acts, the first person raised from the dead since Jesus ascended to heaven.
Tabitha was dead, like we are without Christ (Ephesians 2:1). But God raised her up to display his power over sin and the grave. He does the same for believers today. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:4–7).
More than just a miracle healing, Tabitha’s story displays Christ’s power. Jesus had died and rose again, but then he ascended to heaven. He was in heaven, but the church was on earth. How could the church thrive without him? The book of Acts shows, over and over again, that Jesus is still alive. He is on high, and he still cares for the earth below. His power breaks into our lives and changes our story. His power builds his church and grows his kingdom.
Acts tells us that after Tabitha’s resurrection, people turned to the Lord. “And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:42–43). Tabitha was dead, and now she was alive! Can you imagine her testimony?
We can. Her testimony is our own. We were dead, but now we are alive. We were helpless, but God raised us up. Now we can joyfully share this good news, “always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15). Let our testimony bring glory to God and souls to his kingdom.
Reflection: Who do you know who needs to hear the good news of the Gospel? How can you share the reason for the hope that is in you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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