Acts 9:40 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. ESV
If God was going to enable Peter to raise Tabitha from the dead, why the Lord allow her to die in the first place? The same question may be asked of Lazarus. Why did the Lord allow the friends and family of these dear saints to go through the pain of grief, if He was going to perform a miracle?
Our first answer might be – “So that God could glorify Himself by raising them.” Without a doubt, many did praise God when they saw Tabitha and Lazarus alive. But if that is the case, why doesn’t God raise every Christian from the dead? Why doesn’t God put funeral homes out of business? I close our study this week with two reasons why God allowed Tabitha to die.
Death is an Open Door Into Eternity
1 Corinthians 15:50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. ESV
Though God raised Tabitha that day, she eventually died again. The Bible says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The only Christians who will not die physically are the ones living at the time of the rapture. As I often tell folks – “Either we’re going to grieve for others, or they are going to grieve for us. Each of us are going to die someday.”
Death is an Open Door for Telling Others About Jesus
There’s something about death that often makes us think about life. Though I do not believe that a funeral service should be totally about evangelism, I do believe that death provides us an opportunity to talk with others about the need of salvation. I try to present the gospel at every funeral I perform. Only eternity will reveal the number of people who came to Christ because they attended one of those funerals.
Acts 9:42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. 43And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner. ESV
It’s not hard to imagine the excitement that must have occurred in the church after Tabitha’s resurrection. No doubt this miracle was the primary topic of conversation for a long time. Tabitha’s resurrection not only affected those who knew her, it also paved the way for outreach into new areas. The next chapter in the book of Acts teaches us about Peter’s interaction with the Roman centurion named Cornelius. One wonders if Peter would have ever met Cornelius if not for Tabitha’s death.