and he gave her his hand and raised her up. then, calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. [acts 9:41]
Jesus has power over death. we have seen many signs and wonders done by Jesus through the apostles so far in acts. amazing and awe inspiring works. but at the heart of christianity, at the core of the gospel, the church needed to see that Jesus Christ has power and authority over death. many had seen or heard that he had raised lazarus from the dead. many believed that he had himself risen from the grave. but we see here that even after he had ascended to the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus still raises the dead to life. and this is good news!
the tragedy of the fall of adam and eve has such a trickle down effect on the rest of humanity, that we are born spiritually dead. in this state, we have no power to cleanse our sinful nature, we have no way to reconcile ourselves to God, we have absolutely no ability to rise from the dead.
and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. [eph 2:1-3]
on our own we would be forever doomed to eternal death, apart from God. just like tabitha, our only hope is Jesus Christ, who has all authority over death! only he can present us alive in himself, giving us hearts of flesh instead of our hearts of stone, cleansing us from the sin that causes our doomed state, and reconciling us to God.
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. [eph 2:4-7]
because Jesus is alive, we are alive! we are raised up and we are sitting with him, now, already! our place is with him, citizens of heaven, children of the Almighty God. and someday, when we are made new, and united with him in body and soul, we will see the depths of his grace he has given us in Christ.
Father, let us live like we are alive. let us live like we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places. let us live like we are citizens of an eternal kingdom. like we are your children. thank you for the gift of grace, for the gift of life! amen.
~ arwen eastman